Friday, March 4, 2016

The Road Home

Back in September after our second night in Carolina Beach, we woke up to weather that was worsening by the hour… The rain was pouring down with major flooding and coastal erosion predicted.  We decided that we’d head home a day earlier than planned.  Given the record flooding along the coast and throughout the Carolinas, it was a great decision.

And yet I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to capture a few photos of old railroad depots along our long and wet route home… This is the former Atlantic Coastline Railway Depot in Whiteville North Carolina.  It was built in 1903 and it was one of the state’s earliest all brick depots.

The city was named Whiteville in 1810 after the owner of the land the town was built on… There has been a post office named Whiteville since 1821.  The city is the County Seat for Columbus County.  The town’s estimated population in 2014 was 5,601. 

The “Vineland” Historic Train Station serves today as Whiteville’s civic center.  It got its name “Vineland” from the expansive grape vineyards that once covered the area.  Vast quantities of these grapes were shipped from the station.  The main room, or warehouse, has the original exposed brick walls, slate roof and restored heart pine flooring and ceiling timbers.  The offices and history gallery reportedly have much of the original bead board wall and features of the original train station. 

These days, Vineland Station hosts a number of public events such as art shows, music performances and fund-raisers, as well private events such as weddings, receptions and seminars.

This slowly crumbling depot is located in Maxton North Carolina.  In fact, Maxton began its existence as a railroad depot named Shoe Heel for the Wilmington, Charlotte and Rutherford Railroad, which came through the area in 1862.  The town grew up around the depot.  This station was built by the WC and R Railroad but today it sits alongside the CSX tracks… I couldn’t determine what year this depot was built.

Since flatiron buildings are relatively unusual, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take this photo.  The brick flatiron Patterson Building at 201 McCaskill Avenue is the pivotal building in Maxton’s Historic District.  This district, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, includes 44 well-preserved commercial buildings, railroad structures, churches and houses dating from the mid-1880s.  This building used to be The Bank of Robeson and now it serves as Maxton’s City Hall.

This handsome brick depot with a tile roof is also in Maxton North Carolina.  It was built in 1915 and it served the Seaboard Air Line and Atlantic Coast Line Railroads. 

There is yet another depot in Maxton that I missed… It was originally the freight depot for the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad.  It’s located at 121 Railroad Street and as of June 2010, it was being used as a restaurant.

Maxton had an estimated population of 2,455 in 2014.  The city was incorporated in 1874. 

The last depot that I was able to photograph during our journey home was in Polkton North Carolina.  This combination passenger and freight depot was built in 1888 by the Seaboard Airline Railroad.  It has been relocated, preserved, and is currently serving as a Community Center.

Polkton was incorporated in 1875.  Unlike many small towns around the USA, this town is experiencing a growth spurt.  The population has spiked to an estimated 3,157 in 2014 up from 662 in 1990.  The fact that this town is only about 40 miles from Charlotte probably has a lot to do with its growth.    

These 2 photos show the road ahead as we headed into the Smoky Mountains in South Carolina headed for East Tennessee.  We did outrun the worst of the deluge that befell the Carolinas but traffic was horrendous, especially around Charlotte and the drive through the mountains was no picnic either!  We were very glad to make it home in one piece even though we had cut our trip a little shorter than planned…

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by and checking out the sights with us!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you did get some nasty weather on the way home. What better thing to do in bad weather than to check out a few depots on the way home. Excellent thinking Dave.