Toccoa's colorful depot is home to a welcome center, chamber of commerce, historical society and the Currahee Military Museum.
47 North Alexander Street Toccoa, GA 30577
- Annual Station Revenue (2013)
- Annual Station Ridership (2013)
|Facility Ownership||City of Toccoa|
|Parking Lot Ownership||City of Toccoa|
|Platform Ownership||Norfolk Southern Railway|
|Track Ownership||Norfolk Southern Railway|
|15 Long Term Parking Spaces||5 Short Term Parking Spaces||Accessible Payphones|
|Accessible Platform||Accessible Restrooms||Accessible Waiting Room|
|Dedicated Parking||Enclosed Waiting Area||Pay Phones|
(504) 528-1639 (ph)
Local Community Links:
In 2005, the city of Toccoa began the restoration of the Southern Railway wood-sided 1915 depot structure. In addition to housing the Amtrak station, the restored depot is the used today by the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce and Welcome Center as well as the Stephens County Historical Society. The station has a gift shop and was renovated as part of the Main Street Toccoa program which is still improving and renovating the Toccoa downtown historical district.
The depot was restored according to a design by Carter Watkins Architects, Inc., of Monroe, GA. The funding for the project came from several sources: $374,000 in ISTEA funds through the state DOT, which the city matched with $100,000. The state DOT also provided an extra $20,000 for the parking lot. The historical society provided $500,000 for interior work and for an addition to house the Currahee Military Museum. In October 2009, the new 4,400 square-foot space was dedicated during the popular Currahee Military Weekend. It contains a large meeting room, gift shop, research library, and office space. Approximately half of the funding was provided through a special purpose, local option 1 cent sales tax administered by Stephens County.
The small city of Toccoa, today the seat of Stephens County, lies among the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northeast Georgia. Before the late 1800s, the forested area around Toccoa was occupied by Cherokee Native Americans. However, when Colonel Wafford, an officer in the American Revolutionary Army, purchased the land from the natives in the late 1700s, the first European settlement was known as Dry Pond, for during the wetter winter months the area actually became a temporary pond. It is the present-day location of Pond Street.
Jesse Walton, another Revolutionary War hero, also settled in the Toccoa area, and died defending his home in one of the many violent encounters between the settlers and the Cherokee. When a major road developed between North Carolina, through to Unicoi Gap in Georgia, the original Walton homestead was remodeled and sold to Devereaux Jarrett in 1833, who ran it as a general store, blacksmith’s shop, and inn. Today, Traveler’s Rest, as it came to be called, is a historical preserve near Toccoa.
In 1870, Dry Pond acquired a railway station on the Air-Line Railroad between Atlanta and Charlotte, at its crossroads, giving it access to many major markets. Dry Pond changed its name to Toccoa, borrowing from an old Cherokee word for “beautiful,” when it incorporated in 1875. A tourist industry sprang up after the railroad came, spurred by the development of Tallulah Gorge, the lovely 186-foot Toccoa Falls, and later the formation of the Georgia (Chattahoochee) National Forest in 1937.
This small city has been home to celebrities—including musician James Brown, briefly, and Olympic champion Paul Anderson. However, Camp Toccoa, which was established at the foot of Currahee Mountain, the last mountain in the Blue Ridge chain, changed Toccoa forever in 1942 when the Army took over an area outside the town. This World War II military base was the first training base for the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, whose Easy Company became the subject of the non-fiction book and HBO miniseries, “Band of Brothers.” As part of their training, the soldiers were required to run a grueling three miles up and down the 900-foot mountain; there is still a race in their honor the same three miles up and down the mountain every year.
The Currahee Military Museum inside the Toccoa depot is devoted to the soldiers who trained at Camp Toccoa. Every year, the town hosts a large Military Weekend Reunion to commemorate the approximately 17,000 soldiers who trained at Camp Toccoa and fought in World War II.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this facility, which is served by two daily trains.