Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Off the Beaten Path: Hamburg, Mississippi

I recently rode with my husband Norm to his office in Meadville, Mississippi, which is about 75 miles southeast of Vicksburg. On our way home, we detoured "off the beaten path," if you can call rural Mississippi Highway 33, a "beaten path." Norm has always admired the architectural style of depots, and wanted to show me an old depot in what remains of the small community of Hamburg, Mississippi.

The deserted depot sits at a four-way stop intersection of Hamburg Road and Railroad Avenue, surrounded by trees and overgrown grass.

The front of the depot is striking ... and I could almost picture it during its "heyday," when it was a bustling depot.

You can click on the pictures to get a closer look at the architectural details ...

I was curious about how old the depot is, and while doing a little research into the history of Franklin County, found the following information:

On August 10, 1884, the first passenger train passed over the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad in Franklin County and Hamburg. The Depot may have already been constructed and corporate limits of the town established [at that time].

If you would like to read more about the history of Hamburg and Franklin County, you can click on this link: The Story of Hamburg, Mississippi.

Across the road from the depot is this old store which has long been abandoned.

Can't you just imagine the stories that were swapped on that old bench while its occupants enjoyed an ice cold Coke with peanuts in it!

I makes me sad to see the toll time and neglect take on historic buildings like this beautiful old depot. In 2005, a group of concerned citizens of the Hamburg area attempted to save it, but finally gave up due to lack of funds. Hopefully, one day someone with an interest in historic preservation (and lots of money!) will venture "off that beaten path" and rescue the depot before it's too late. If not, at least I have captured it forever in my photographs as it was on that Tuesday afternoon in May 2012.


racheld said...

Oh, the Places you could Go, and the stories it could tell. The quickening of the heart when the wooo-ooo-woooo sounded on the approach, the shrieking of the steel on steel as the brakes were applied, and the hustle-bustle as travelers alighted---oh, my.

And the GOING! Even if only five miles to the nearest "big town" to shop or see the dentist---those were still journeys.

And hats. Everyone wore hats, even children, and dressed like church for a train trip.

You know my love affair with trains and tracks and depots---ours was the same old Armyish green as the several "railroad houses" in which the workers and their families lived---sometimes for years.

When the mailbag was placed out on the pole, and the whooshy-grab of the passing train as the long hook from the train grabbed the bag and disappeared it into the caboose---that was a magic moment. We'd sit down the slope or over on Mrs. Cain's grass at train-time and wait for that legerdemain like kids from countless centuries gathered for Punch and Judy in the square.

C. M. Designs said...

Hi Janie, Like you say, if someone had the money, oh what could be done with the old depot.
I can see it as a home for someone to live in.. If a barn can be turned in to a home why not the depot. But, it all takes money.
Thank you for another interesting story with pictures..
The old store reminds me of one that I used to go to and buy dill pickles out of a barrel, Bonomos turkish taffy and Twinkies.. My mouth is watering thinking about the pickles..
Have a beautiful day.
Smiles, Charlotte

LindaG said...

I always wish that old buildings could whisper their stories.

Thanks for sharing great photos with us. :o)

Saponaria said...

I just wanted to say that I love your blog. My father's family is from Mississippi and my father was born in Vicksburg. My happiest and fondest childhood memories are of traveling from Atlanta to Mississippi, usually with my grandmother, to visit my great grandparents. My great grandmother was an avid gardener and I just loved all the memories I have of her home and garden. I get all heart sick seeing these photos. I have such a soft spot in my heart for Mississippi. I want so much to take my husband and children on a road trip to Mississippi soon to visit all the old home sites and the cemeteries my loved ones and ancestors are buried in. Thanks again for sharing your beautiful blog!

Heather said...

I have lived in Hamburg all of my life, and it is steeped in beautiful history. Sadly, a woman bought the depot and had it destroyed because it obstructed her view of the road. Her people were not from here and we fought her as hard as we could. I cried for weeks. Just a reminder to take all of the pictures you can... before you know it, that's all that will be left.