Are you looking for an unusual gift for this holiday season? How about a train depot? The Lewisburg Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) seeks someone who will take and move the historic Lewisburg & Ronceverte Railroad (L&R) depot located on Echols Lane in the Lewisburg historic district. The structure is slated for demolition. The HLC hopes for the depot to be moved either intact or by disassembly and restored. The preferred location for the depot is Lewisburg, if possible. The depot would make a super office, guesthouse, workshop or home for your model railroad.
Built about 1910, the 18 ft. x 40 ft. structure served as the first Lewisburg passenger and freight depot for the L&R. It has been a private residence for more than 50 years and is one of the last remaining pieces of the L&R history. When the L&R designed the depot, it appears that the it acquired plans from the C&O for its Standard Combination Station No. 1 which had become a C&O standard station about 1892. Characteristic of this design are the gingerbread decorations in the gables at each end. The L&R station is believed to have had waiting rooms on each side of an office with an extension to handle mail, express, and baggage. This style became one of the most iconic station designs on the C&O, and a hallmark of its presence in Virginia, West Virginia, and later in Kentucky.
According to Tom Dixon, a foremost railroad authority and president of the C&O Historical Society, the L&R depot is the only surviving example of what appears to be a nearly exact C&O Standard No. 1 station. Dixon writes, “It deserves to be preserved as an important artifact of the American railway experience, and a reminder of how Lewisburg attempted to compensate for its not being located on a major railway.”
For a very nominal price, the new depot owner may be entitled to some financial assistance, state tax credits, and possible nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
For additional information, interested parties may contact Commissioner Skip Deegans at 304-646-8475.