JESUP, GEORGIA—On March 8, 2013, the city of Jesup dedicated its newly renovated train station during a ceremony that included speeches by the mayor and an Amtrak representative. Afterwards, townspeople and visitors were welcome to tour the building and enjoy refreshments.
The 1903 brick combination depot, originally built by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad (ACL), was severely damaged during an electrical fire in February 2003. Following the accident, the depot was boarded up while the city sought resources for a full rehabilitation. In 2005, Jesup received more than $800,000 in federal funds to restore the building after it was designated a High Priority Project by the Federal Highway Administration. The city also purchased the building and land from CSX Transportation, owner of the adjacent railroad line.
Working with the Spriggs Group, a Savannah-based architectural firm with wide experience in historic preservation projects, the city returned the depot to its early 20th century appearance, which includes a hipped roof with generous, deep eaves supported by brackets to shelter passengers from inclement weather as they wait outside for the arrival of the train. Bron Cleveland Associates, Inc. of Atlanta oversaw project management.
In addition to a passenger waiting room, the depot also includes a community meeting space, offices and a welcome center for the Wayne County Board of Tourism. The interior is decorated with historic photographs and memorabilia that demonstrate the strong ties between Jesup and the railroads. City officials believe that these new uses will make the depot more active and therefore contribute to downtown revitalization. Nearby, a covered platform is popular among train enthusiasts who gather to socialize and tally the types of locomotives and cars rolling by.
Jesup is the seat of Wayne County and is located 40 miles from the Atlantic coast in the heart of Georgia’s “wiregrass” region. In fiscal year 2012, more than 10,000 people got on or off at Jesup, which is served twice daily by the Silver Meteor (New York-Miami).
Read the for more information about Jesup and its railroad heritage.