Gordon Depot

The 1885 Central of Georgia Railway depot at Gordon was rehabilitated in 2003 with Transportation Enhancement funds. It now houses a railroad museum in the former waiting rooms and depot agent's office. The former freight room now is used as a community meeting space.

Gordon depot in daylight

In the mid-20th century, the Central came into the fold of Southern Railway and in 1982 became part of Norfolk Southern.

NS closed the depot in 1985. The rail line is still in service as the NS Savannah-Macon line.

On display beside the depot is this gas-electric 0-4-0 locomotive. Built in 1930 by Mack Truck, Inc. of Allentown, PA (as its no. 171010), it served the former Edgar Brothers Kaolin Company at nearby McIntyre. Locally called a “bogey," the 15-ton unit and two side-dump ore cars were donated to the museum by Engelhard Corporation.

The local mines built their tracks to the 3-foot gauge.

Four-wheel ore cars could dump their loads on either side. Constructed of wood and steel, they used link-and-pin couplers.

This track maintenance car was built by Kalamazoo Manufacturing Company. It was used in Gordon by Southern Clays, an Engelhard predecessor.

Railcars full of kaolin continue to be part of the scene in Gordon.

Gordon, a Wilkinson County town of 2,158 in middle Georgia, was named for William Washington Gordon, the first president of the Central Railroad and Banking Company. The town was Station No. 17 on the railroad.

The first depot here was constructed in the 1840s, around the time the Central was completing its pioneering line out of Savannah.

Gordon saw significant military action during the Civil War. A nearby Georgia Historical Marker summarizes the events:

In July, 1864, Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman's Army [USA] closed in on Atlanta. Finding its fortifications "too strong to assault and too extensive to invest." He sought to force its fall by sending Maj. Gen. George Stoneman with three cavalry brigades (2112 men and 2 guns) to cut the Central of Georgia R.R. by which the city's defenders [CSA] were supplied. On the 27th, Stoneman left Decatur, crossed the Ocmulgee (Yellow) River near Covington (69 miles NW), and turned down the left bank toward Macon.

On the 30th, at Clinton (16 miles NW), Major F. M. Davidson, 14th Illinois Cavalry, was detached with 125 men to destroy railway facilities. Here at Gordon, he "burned a large brick depot filled with army supplies, destroying 11 locomotives, and burned 11 trains of cars consisting of 40 passenger cars, 80 box-cars, filled with commissary and quartermaster stores, and 20 open cars loaded with machinery, also burned a large building stored with tools and machinery belonging to the railroad company, and 1 cotton factory: destroyed the telegraph office, with several instruments, capturing the operator, and tore up half a mile of railroad track."

After the war the railroad was rebuilt, with the first trains running the entire route between Savannah and Macon in early 1866. By 1890 the line had become the main stem of a 2300-mile system.

More information and photos at Middle Georgia Railroad Association

 


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