Georgia Railroad to serve as a passenger and freight terminal when trains made round trips twice each day between Chattanooga and Cedartown.
But the last scheduled passenger train passed through town in the early 1950s.
The building has been remodel and modernized several times since the 1960s and used as a classroom, a public library and a meeting room.
More recently, Chickamauga’s depot was home to the Walker County Regional Heritage and Train Museum. As such, it housed a collection of military memorabilia dating from the Revolutionary War up to the nation’s most recent conflicts. The depot also recalled its roots by having a large-scale model train
Now, everything inside the depot at 200 Gordon St. has changed, and, since April 1, the building is now a welcome center.
Museum exhibits have been placed in secure storage, the model trains were removed and a major refurbishing has been performed, Haney said.
Refinished pine floors, repainted plasterwork and beadboard, along with updated lighting fixtures make the center as inviting as the town.
WI-Fi is available, wallmounted televisions deliver a looped program highlighting the city’s past and touch screen displays are available to provide answers to the most common questions visitors might have.
The climate controlled space — air conditioned in summer, heated in winter — offers a place to rest. Not only can tourists regroup, they can recharge cell phones while doing so.
And of course, there are two public restrooms on premises.
The facility, and its facilities, has proved popular when Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum steam train excursions come to town and during the citysponsored First Friday block parties.
Funds to cover the roughly $10,000 cost of refurbishing and remolding were provided by the Jewell Memorial Foundation.
In addition to the newly opened visitor center, Haney said space once home to the museum is available for future renovation and expansion.