Monday, February 13, 2017

Another Railway Depot plus Breakfast

Just a short posting this time… I forgot to post one other pair of photos from our drive through Opelika Alabama and I thought that I’d just add in a good basic breakfast too!

This handsome passenger depot in Opelika Alabama was built ca. 1920.  It was built by Central of Georgia and the Western of Alabama Railroads.  The last passenger train pulled out in 1970 but several freight trains still roll through each day. This is alleged to be the busiest stretch of tracks in the Southeast.  There is an average of about 12 trains a day just on the CSX tracks.  Another set of tracks belong to Norfolk Southern Railroad.

The depot was restored back in 1998 for about a $500 million and today it is headquarters to Opelika Main Street as well as the Opelika Arts Association. For more on the Arts Association, go to

This big freight depot sits at a 90 degree angle to Opelika’s former passenger depot.  It has obviously been restored as well.  From what I could find out, it was also built by the Central Georgia Railroad at approximately the same time to the passenger depot. 

Opelika has had an apparently colorful history.  The town nearly doubled in size between 1870 and 1900.  During that time, the town gained a reputation as a wild, lawless place.  Soon after receiving the new charter, city officials attempted to scam outside investors by issuing fake railroad bonds.  Because of that, the town's charter was revoked again in 1872.  Opelika was allegedly administered as a police district by the state legislature for the following year.

Opelika's downtown was packed with saloons catering to railroad workers and other men.  Frequent gunfire in the street by intoxicated patrons supposedly resulted in railroads directing their passengers to duck beneath the windows when their trains passed through the town.

In 1882, two factions claimed to rule the city government, one known as the "Bar room" headed by Mayor Dunbar, a saloon keeper, and another known as the "Citizens". There was a riot in late November-December of that year, in which a dozen men were wounded and a couple were killed.  The Citizens had claimed control of the city following elections, but Dunbar refused to give up.  After continued violence, the state legislature revoked the city's charter yet again and the governor sent in the militia to restore order.  The state legislature appointed five commissioners to manage the city, a situation that continued until 1899.

Skipping back to the morning after our overnight stay in Dothan Alabama, we discovered that unlike our usual Hampton Inn, Hilton Gardens Inns don’t offer anything for breakfast. (Cost more, get less…at least for the casual traveler)

So that lack of a ‘free’ early morning snack presented us with an opportunity for breakfast at Waffle House.  This chain is a faithful standby for us when we’re on a road trip.  Waffle House has roughly 2,100 restaurants in 25 states…mostly in the south and southeast. The company was founded in 1955 in the state of Georgia.

It’s all about the basics!  Laurie had crispy hash browns (cooked right), 2 perfectly fried over-easy eggs, toast and bacon.

·       Did you know that Waffle House uses 2% of all the eggs used in the USA in a year?

·       The company serves 300,000 waffles per day!

·       Waffle House goes through over 3 million lbs. of coffee beans each year…

I decided to try something a little different.  This is the Sausage, Egg and Cheese Melt with a side of those terrific crispy hashbrown potatoes.  We both had a large glass of orange juice (Huge!) with our breakfast.  The bill with tip and tax was just over $20.00…

The key to any successful business is competent management.  However, the other key to success at Waffle House is an efficient grill master/short order cook!  The fellow at the far left of the grill operated with no wasted motions…3 or 4 things in process without missing a stroke.  I told him that I admired his skill…and we both thought that he blushed.  Skill like that deserves praise!


·       Since 1955, Waffle House has gone through over 2.5 billion eggs and 1.8 billion orders of hash brown potatoes.

·       Waffle House has over 40,000 employees!

This particular Waffle House is located at 3591 Ross Clark Circle NW in Dothan Alabama.  Phone: 334-793-7739.  The Company website is at

That’s about it for this posting.  Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Hard to beat Waffle House for a good, basic breakfast. I would have the guessed the Folkston Funnel had the most trains.

  2. No Waffle House restaurants in this neck of the woods, but I know their breakfast is basic and good.
    Nice depot in Opelika, but it sounds like it was one wild little town in its day back when.
    I just realized there are pickles on your sausage melt plate. Don't believe I've ever been served pickles for breakfast. ☺ Have a wonderful week!

  3. Lori's breakfast looks exactly like my favourite breakfast. Great photos, Dave, thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Dear Dave, I would enjoy both choices since they are a classic breakfast with a good cup of coffee.

  5. Woooo--didn't have any idea about the popularity of Waffle House.... I haven't eaten there in a LONG LONG time...

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and your loved ones. We are enjoying this special day in Arkansas at our special little cabin on the mountain!