Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Old Railway Depots – West and Northwest Georgia

I took the ‘back way’ toward our home in East Tennessee because I had 2 possible attractions in mind that we could visit near Pine Mountain Georgia.  I planned to stay overnight in nearby LaGrange.

Of course, there was always the possibility of spotting another old railway depot along the way…

I found this little depot in Parrott Georgia.  This combination facility was built around 1889 when the Columbus Southern (Columbus to Albany) railway was constructed.  The first train arrived in 1890.  Back in 1896, 4 trains per day stopped in Parrott…

This 88-mile railroad between Columbus and Albany Georgia was chartered in 1885.   It started operations in April of 1890 and was soon leased to the Georgia Midland and Gulf Railroad.  Eventually it was sold to the Georgia and Alabama Railroad in 1896 and later was merged into the Seaboard Air Line Railway.
In the 1894 edition of The Official Railway List, the Columbus Southern reported that it operated 5 locomotives, 6 passenger cars plus 120 freight and other miscellaneous cars.

This is downtown Parrott Georgia.  Its estimated population in 2014 was 152 residents.  At its peak in 1930, there were 383 folks living in town.  The Parrott Historic District is listed in the National Register of historic Places.

In the late seventies, there was a bit of excitement in town when, because of its resemblance to an old western town, it was chosen as the location for the western, “The Long Riders”.   “The Long Riders” starred four sets of brothers: the Quaids, the Keaches, the Carradines, and the Guests, and it detailed the exploits of the Jesse James gang.

Moving on up the road from our overnight stay in LaGrange Georgia and our adventures at a wildlife park in Pine Mountain, I got off the Interstate for a bit to look for railroad depots as we moved northeast toward the Atlanta metropolitan area. 

Palmetto Georgia's depot, built in 1917, served the Atlanta and West Point Railroad for nearly a half-century before being adapted for municipal uses in the 1960s.  After 18-month rehabilitation, this old but completely refurbished depot reopened in the fall of 2012 as a community center which houses a local history museum, banquet hall and conference room.

While the population of Palmetto was under 1,000 when the depot was built, it’s now approaching 5,000 residents.  This is due to the nearby Interstate Highway and the city’s proximity to Atlanta.  


·       On the museum/depot grounds one can find the burial plot with a headstone for Willis B. Menefee and his mother.  Willis is known as the ‘father’ of Palmetto.  He donated the land the town was built on. 

·       The Confederate Army of Tennessee, under the command of General Hood, arrived in town on September 19, 1864.  Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, visited the town and gave a speech to the troops.  From here General Hood launched his disastrous Tennessee Campaign which ended with the Confederate’s loss at the Battle of Nashville. 

The first rail service to serve Fairburn Georgia was the Atlanta and West Point Railroad.  The line came through Fairburn after the then county seat, Campbellton, refused to allow the railroad through that town on account of the anticipated noise it would cause.  Consequently, Fairburn was designated as the new County Seat in 1870.

Fairburn has 2 old depots that are located almost adjacent to each other along the tracks, separated only by an old railway overpass that was built at the same time.  Both depots were built by the Atlanta and West Point Railroad in 1916 – 1917.  This is the old freight depot and it was or perhaps still is occupied by a graphics firm.

This is the former Atlanta and West Point Railroad passenger depot in Fairburn.  It was interesting to note that there are overhanging protected areas at both ends of this structure.  That is a little unusual, at least from my perspective.  The building is occupied by a law firm…and they need to trim some bushes and trees.  The building would look better and the firm would look more prosperous and successful!


·       It has been documented that the first Confederate Flag was completed and unfurled here in Fairburn in March of 1861.  Some ladies on the train had purchased the materials for the flag when it stopped in Grantville Georgia on its way to Atlanta.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. You do manage to get off the beaten path. I believe I saw the long riders.

  2. Never have heard of Parrott but it looks like one unique little town. Here's wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

  3. Isn't it fun to get on the back roads and find out all kinds of interesting history? That is neat about the Confederate Flag....

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.