Chicka­mauga

Walker County Messenger - - Front Page -

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

lay­out.

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.

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