Bartow Depot

Bartow was Station No. 11 on the old Central Railroad of Georgia line between Savannah and Macon. In the mid-1800s, it was also known as Spier's Turnout, a turnout being a switch that allows trains to move off the main track to a side track or spur. The place was given its present name to honor Francis S. Bartow, a Georgian killed in the First Battle of Manassas.

On November 28-29, 1864, Sherman's troops passed through here, continuing their destruction of the railroad during the March to the Sea. This was often accomplished, according to a Massachusetts soldier, by "tipping the whole track over, passing the men down from left to right & keeping it going like a row of bricks & then piling up the ties & lifting the whole length of stringer & rail on top to burn the whole; lighting a continuous fire of pitch rails along both sides of the stringer & rail to burn & warp them."*

The present depot was built in 1869 to replace the earlier structure destroyed by Sherman's army.

The tracks now carry Norfolk Southern trains.

Transportation Enhancement funding for the depot's rehabilitation was approved in 2002. The work was underway at the time of this 2004 photo.

Bartow is a town of 223 in southern Jefferson County in eastern Georgia.

* From a quoted passage in Noah Andre Trudeau, Southern Storm: Sherman's March to the Sea, HarperCollins, 2008. Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. © Steve Storey

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