All month long, WNCT is “Living Local.”
We are making stops all across the East, highlighting what makes our communities so special.
Our first stop is in Greene County, highlighting the 100+-year-old train depot in Walstonburg.
This train depot was built in 1906 and at the time, Northern Southern Railway needed a place to stop on their track, so they chose this small town because of all the timber and farmers in the area.
At the time, having this train depot was important to the economy in Walstonburg.
Town commissioner Ray Holloman said, “The rail system is like the internet system is today, that’s how you got thing in and out of the town.”
Freight and passenger trains stopped here, using this town of fewer than 200 people as a stop on the way to places like Raleigh or Greenville.
The depot has seen some heartbreak, burning down in 1911 after it was robbed then set it on fire.
But they were determined to get it back, rebuilding in 1912 and it’s sat in this same location ever since.
Tragedy almost hit again in 1974 when Northern Southern wanted to tear the depot down, but the town got together and ended up saving it, and that’s when the preserving process began.
Recently, they’ve repainted, added a new roof, a new foundation, and made it handicap accessible.
The hope is to have it turned into a museum by the end of July
Holloman said, “I think it will hopefully be an attraction one day, for tourists that come, when we have that place, we need to make it a destination.”
In addition to this depot, there is also the water tower in town.
It was built in 1940 and is the only one of its kind in the south east!
The town got a grant recently to help preserve it as well and its things like the depot and this water tower that officials here hope will make people want to invest in this small town!
Holloman said, “It should be an attraction for later if you’ve been through town, most of the buildings are empty but Walstonburg is coming back. We need that business to come here and say, Walstonburg is in a perfect place.”
Walstonburg has seen a few new things recently —- there’s a new café, new owners at the hardware store, a fiberglass plant —- so they’re going in the right direction.
The hope is like we said to have the museum up and going by the end of the month.
They hope to use the depot as an event venue as well.