Maplesville renovates future home of museum

Published 10:04 pm Monday, August 10, 2009

The town of Maplesville is improving its historic train depot in hopes the depot, in turn, will improve the town.

Phase II of the Train Station Restoration project has begun and includes the repair of a leaky roof, new flooring and the repainting of bathrooms. When completed, the town’s historical society hopes to turn what has been used as storage space in the depot into a museum of the town’s history.

“We’re going to start out with probably just a pictorial history as far back as we can go,” said Clem Clapp with the historical society.

Clapp said the society has collected photographs from as far back as the 1850s, when the town’s current site became more vital than the old site, located down what is now Highway 191 near the New Convert community.

The railroad was the main reason for the relocation of the town’s center, Clapp said, and all that is left of the old town is a graveyard.

The depot that is being renovated was built circa 1911.

Phase I of the renovation project included repainting the outside of the structure and landscaping.

Pitts Construction of Remlap had the lowest bid, $102,000, of seven that were made for Phase II, town clerk Sheila Haigler said. The town received a transportational enhancement grant from the state Department of Transportation for $98,692.

The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of August. Work began July 27.

The town’s senior citizens organization, which used the depot as a meeting place, will not meet until the project is completed.

“We tried to find them another meeting place, but the biggest problem we ran into was insurance,” Haigler said. “But they were OK with it because of the time of year: It’s hot, gas prices have gone up and school is starting, so some of them wanted to spend some more time with their kids and grandkids.”