Efforts underway to remember historical train depot in Dale County

Efforts underway to remember historical train depot in Dale County
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

DALE COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - A fundraiser is underway in Dale County to recognize an important part of the county's history.

The Dale County Genealogical and Historical Society is looking to raise $2,600 to erect a historical marker near the site of the Atlantic Coastline Train Depot in Ozark.

The depot was located off Depot Lane – which is off Broad Street. It was first built in the 1890's. Over the years, it significantly changed the landscape of Ozark.

"It created great economic and population growth for our community," said Genealogy Reference Librarian Joni Wood. "From the span of 1890 when the depot first came until after the new one was built our population had a 32 percent increase."

The depot was rebuilt in 1911 after a fire demolished it in 1910.

The depot also welcomed home and saw off soldiers.

"We have a very strong military connection. Not only then in 1916, but again in 1942 and 1950 – the depot was a major mode of transportation for our soldiers," said Wood.

But by the 1980's it sat unused, and in January 2018 it was demolished.

"We may not have been able to preserve the depot and turn it into something wonderful for our community. We can at least try and make it a marker," said Wood.

Wood says the historical marker would be a reminder of what was and help preserve history.

"With any part of history it's always important to try and preserve it the best way we can," Wood said.

The group is applying for the marker through the Alabama Historic Association.

The marker would be placed off Broad Street, which is a more visible location than off Depot Lane.

If you are interested in donating to the project, you can donate here.

You can also d rop off or mail your donation to the Ozark Dale County Public Library to the attention of the Dale County Genealogical and Historical Society. The address is 416 James Street, Ozark, AL 36360.

They are collecting donations through May 2.

Copyright 2018 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.