DONATE

BACK ON TRACK

GRAND JUNCTION DEPOT PRESERVATION PROJECT

Grand Junction Depot

OUR MISSION

To renovate and preserve historically significant structures in or near Grand Junction, Tennessee, specifically including but not limited to the Grand Junction railway depot station; to acquire railroad and historically significant artifacts and memorabilia with an emphasis on Grand Junction and Hardeman County; to promote interest and pride in our local heritage, particularly as it relates to the railroad and its role during the Civil War and its influence in attracting eastern industrialists to the area around the turn of the century; to encourage interest in the broad spectrum of the area’s heritage, and to make the outcome of these endeavors available to the public for educational and community activities.

BACKGROUND

The railroad depot in Grand Junction, TN, is the sole surviving rail depot in Hardeman County after having been part of the Illinois Railroad system for over  150 years. It is now owned by the Grand Junction Depot Museum Corporation, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, formed to renovate this significant piece of Hardeman County’s history.

The founding of Grand Junction in 1854, as well as the city’s and region’s growth, development and place in history, are the direct result of the intersection of two railroads: the Illinois Central and the Southern (originally the Memphis-Charleston Railway, and now known as the Norfolk Southern Railroad, with approximately 20 trains each day passing the depot). Although numerous old buildings remain which speak to the city’s rich history, none reflects its founding, growth and development, or exemplifies its cultural heritage, better than the Depot.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE

The building’s historical significance lies not in its age, the use of the structure, or even who was rumored to have worked there (Thomas Edison, for example). Rather it is a highly tangible symbol of the region’s cultural history, one built around the intersection of two railroads. No one disputes the important and historic role the two railroads played during the Civil War. Numerous nearby sites and structures remain which collectively help tell the story of Grand Junction during the Civil War.

In the early 1900s, the Depot became the site where Hobart Ames and numerous wealthy industrialists from the northeast detrained from their private rail cars and boarded carriages and wagons bound for their nearby plantations for hunting during the winter months. The subsequent growth of the National Field Trail Championship at the Ames Plantation over the past 100 years is attributed to access to the area afforded to dog owners, trainers and handlers by the railroads. Today, the National Field Trails are known internationally and Grand Junction is home of the National Bird Dog Museum and has been designated the Bird Dog Capital of the World.

GRAND JUNCTION
DEPOT SITE PLAN

OUR OBJECTIVES

The Depot’s survival a year ago was unlikely unless immediate action was taken to stabilize it. Deterioration had allowed the elements to rot the roof, roof deck, flooring, windows, and doors. In its dilapidated state, the Depot was an eyesore and hardly a suitable reflection of the desired image for the community. Despite its condition, the building remained sufficiently sound to warrant restoration.

  1. COMPLETED Secure control of the property to enable restoration and future use by the community. A 99-year lease of the real estate (3 acres) and fee simple ownership of the building have now been obtained from Mississippi Central Railroad.
  2. CURRENTLY UNDERWAY Phase 2 is structural restoration of the Grand Junction Depot to a condition suitable for its preservation. To date, the roof, windows, doors and subflooring have been repaired. The building is “in the dry” and saved from any further damage, but funding is critically needed for repairs to the exterior plaster walls, soffits, foundations, concrete stairs, and molding. The Depot will receive additional exterior enhancements including a site entrance that affords a sense of arrival, driveway and parking improvements, a walking connection to the adjacent park, a decorative protective fence along the tracks, and a re-creation of the original loading area reminiscent of a passenger train boarding platform.
  3. FUTURE Phase 3 will convert the Depot’s interior for long term use. The interior also must be renovated and built-out for its adaptive re-use, including a museum, welcome center, and community center for civic events. Along with private fundraising, these funding sources will include rural development grants and transportation grants.
  4. LONG TERM Establish long term funding sources to provide for utilities, maintenance and future improvements.

Financial Status of $120,000 Depot Goal

$42,000 RAISED TO DATE – $78,000 REMAINING TO BE RAISED

2014-2015 Sources of Funds
Board Member Donations $21,000
Other Individual Donations $9,100
Banks and Corporations $6,000
Foundations (including match) $5,900
Total Funds Raised $42,000
Bank Construction Loan Balance $26,000
Total Sources of Funds $68,000
2014-2015 Uses of Funds
Start-up and Operating Expenses $19,800
Renovation Construction Costs $48,200
Total Uses of Funds  $68,000
2016 Phase II Projects Remaining
Cost to Renovate Depot Exterior $30,000
Landscaping and Grounds $22,000
Pay Off Bank Construction Loan $26,000
Amount Still Needed to be Raised $78,000

HELP US SAVE THE GRAND JUNCTION DEPOT

$20,000

STATION MASTER

$15,000

YARD MASTER

$10,000

TRAIN MASTER

$5,000

CONDUCTOR

$2,500

ENGINEER

$1,000

FOREMAN

$500

SWITCHMAN

$250

BRAKEMAN

$1 – $249

FLAGMAN

Donors and gift categories will be acknowledged on a permanent bronze plaque displayed at the depot. Tax-deductible Donation 501(c)(3)

DONATE

GRAND JUNCTION DEPOT MUSEUM CORPORATION

BOARD MEMBERS

Board Members left to right: Wade, Ledbetter, Ledbetter, Kerns, Pierce, Savage, Brotherton, Smith, Evans

Gerald Wade, President
Financial Advisor, SunTrust Banks

Scott Ledbetter, Chief Financial Officer
Real Estate Investments Chair,
Bolivar Downtown Development Corporation

Kathy Ledbetter, Chair
Real Estate Investments, Farming

Lou Kerns, Treasurer
Owner, Kerns-Wilcheck

Cissye Pierce, Member
Bookkeeper and Gift Shop Manager,
National Bird Dog Museum,
Past President, Hardeman County APTA

Ken Savage, Member
Regional Vice President,
Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities
President, Hardeman County APTA

Rex Brotherton, Secretary
Vice President, The Bank of Fayette County

Earl Smith, Member
Local Farming Operator

Jamie Evans, Member
Assistant Superintendant, Ames Plantation