Alabama Midland Railroad Museum - Ashford, AL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 31° 11.006 W 085° 14.258
16R E 667935 N 3451268
Quick Description: The Alabama Midland Railroad Museum is located in the historic Alabama Midland Railway Depot, also known as the Ashford Depot, in Ashford, Alabama.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 1/6/2013 11:03:35 AM
Waymark Code: WMG33G
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member alermy
Views: 3

Long Description:
The following additional information about the historic depot and its current role as a railroad museum is from the Encyclopedia of Alabama website:

"The Alabama Midland Railroad Depot located in Ashford, Houston County, is a fully restored Victorian-era structure that houses a museum, exhibits, and a conference center. A restored caboose and cargo rail car adjacent to the depot are part of the museum. The museum is operated by the Ashford Area Heritage Foundation.

The depot was constructed in 1888 for $4,500 as a combined passenger-freight facility and served as a way station on railroad routes between Bainbridge, Georgia, and Montgomery, Montgomery County. The town of Ashford was incorporated in 1891 and quickly became a key center of naval stores production (including pitch, tar, and turpentine), cotton, and produce because of the railroad access. In May 1891, the depot escaped a devastating fire that destroyed four stores, which comprised much of downtown Ashford. In 1899, Alabama Midland became part of the Plant Investment Company, which was absorbed into the Atlantic Coast Line (ACL) in 1902.

ACL continued to operate the depot until the late 1970s when Jack Jackson, an executive with ACL, approached C. O. Adams Jr., owner of the Ashford Gin Company, about ACL's intent to close the depot. Ashford Gin Company was the largest customer of ACL between Bainbridge and Dothan at that time. To save the depot from closure and demolition, Adams accepted transfer of the property to the Ashford Gin Company. When the Ashford Gin Company ceased operations in 1984, it transferred ownership of the property to the city of Ashford.

After a concerted effort by the Estelle Manley Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Alabama Midland Railroad Depot was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Alabama Historical Register in September 1985. A historic marker was unveiled in a ceremony co-sponsored by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Ashford Depot Committee. The city of Ashford completely renovated the depot between September 2004 and November 2005, when the restored building was dedicated. The former station master’s office holds the main collection of railroad artifacts in the museum, and the warehousing area of the depot is now a conference center. Additional rooms connected to the depot hold office space and other artifacts.

The Alabama Midland Railroad Museum focuses its exhibits on the "golden age" of the railroad era in southeast Alabama. In the station master's office, visitors can view a variety The Alabama Midland Railroad Depot and Museum features Station Master's Office, Alabama Midland Railroad Depot of railroad-related artifacts such as telegraph keys, carbon microphone telephones, locks, clocks, Victorian attire, shipping trunks, typewriters, railroad documents, mail carts, and historical pictures. Many of these artifacts were donated by former railroad employees. The museum also contains a fully-restored, 1950s-era caboose with cupola bucket seats, bunk beds, and other features that are accessible to visitors. The caboose also is equipped with teaching tools such as charts showing hobo symbols and flash cards that tell the history of railroading. The museum is open to visitors by appointment, and there is no charge for admission.

Members of the Ashford Area Heritage Foundation conduct tours of the museum by appointment and during city-sponsored events such as the annual Harvest Day celebration and Christmas parade. Annually, more than 60 events are held in the depot facilities, attracting thousands of participants."

Museum Website: [Web Link]

Train ride provided?: no

Actual railroad cars or locomotives on display?: yes

Admission fee?: 0

Street Address: Intersection of 3rd Avenue and Midland Street Ashford, AL USA 36312

Gift shop?: no

Café/restaurant?: no

Theater?: no

Other features?: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
1. Visit the museum. 2. Provide your thoughts/experience of this visit. 3. Provide a photograph of your visit to this museum. A GPSr photo is NOT required.
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hoteltwo visited Alabama Midland Railroad Museum - Ashford, AL 5/1/2014 hoteltwo visited it