Saturday, September 22, 2007

Oliver Springs Southern Railway Depot

Oliver Springs, Tennessee. My head buzzed with pressure from an on-coming change in the weather. When I had set out earlier in the day to photograph the Oliver Springs Southern Railway Depot, now the Oliver Springs Library and Museum, the sky was clear (as clear as a hot day summer day in Tennessee can be). Now rain threatened. As I hurried on ignoring the pain in my head, I found the depot rather easily (not so for a few other historic sites in East Tennessee).

Barely had I begun to investigate this piece of railroad history when indeed a summer shower began. I waited in my car. The rain grew harder. So balancing an umbrella and the camera, I slogged ahead.

As I traveled beyond the parking lot side of building, the other side was brimming with the color red. The contrast of this vibrant color lit up the rather bleak looking day it had become. There was a Southern Railway Caboose and a very well maintained historic firetruck. Also, a separate little ticket booth also stood its ground.

    • Latitude: 0.001895
    • Longitude: 0.002961
    • 610 Walker Ave., Oliver Springs, TN 37840
    • Moved from original site
    • Imagine being wealthy in the late 1800s. You hear about about the miraculous health benefits of mineral springs. You choose a little holiday at a luxury hotel and you get there by train, leaving from Knoxville, Tennessee. Such patronage is how the town of Oliver Springs gained a bit of affluence in the world and why the Oliver Springs Southern Railway Depot came into being. But it truly prospered from nearby coal production.
    • The last passenger train pulled through the depot in 1968.
    • In 1983 Southern Railway planned to demolish the structure. The town rallied for saving this historic remnant and eventually struck a deal with Southern Railway, provided it would be removed from the site and relocated elsewhere. In 1986, the citizens of Oliver Springs were able to have the building moved across the street.
    • This depot is a small-frame style, one story structure. It features gabbles and overhangs. Its original pressed metal shingle roof has been replaced with asphalt shingles.
  • CURRENT USAGE: Oliver Springs Library, Museum operated by the Oliver Springs Historical Society

No comments: