GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — The Gallipolis Railroad Freight Station Museum celebrated their grand opening April 30 after many years of challenging work and dedication. The project was envisioned by Jim Love, and soon embraced by other railroad enthusiasts.
What began in 2015 as an effort to save the deteriorating Gallipolis Hocking Valley Railroad Freight Station has become the Gallipolis Railroad Freight Station Museum. Built in 1901, the freight depot was first owned by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, and later by the Baltimore and Ohio, and the Chessie System. The station closed in 1981, and the property was passed to the O.O. McIntyre Park District and the City of Gallipolis. The goal of the Gallipolis Railroad Freight Station Museum’s is “to offer a historical collection of railroad memorabilia relating but not limited to the railroad history of southeastern Ohio.”
Despite being a rainy day, the spirit of the opening was not dampened. Over 300 visitors turned out to celebrate and enjoy activities that included miniature golf, a Model A car show, model train and memorabilia displays, and tours of the train cars. Bossard Memorial Library partnered with the museum and hosted train crafts, story time, and a giveaway for kids.
According to Davis, the event was jointly planned by the Museum, Bossard Library, and the Gallipolis Chamber of Commerce.
“It was a co-operative effort between all three groups,” Davis said. “The library did a wonderful job promoting the opening with train related displays, story times, and crafts before the event. The Chamber was extremely helpful in the promotion, it was so great to see everyone joining together for this opening.”
Davis said that while the museum is open, it will continue to be a work in progress as more trains and artifacts are acquired and readied for display, and as restoration on many of the trains continues.
“We are only just beginning, there is so much more to be done to preserve our railroad heritage. It is such an important part of Gallipolis history, and our nation’s history, we are doing all we can to restore and maintain these wonderful pieces.”
The Gallipolis Railroad Freight Station Museum, located on 918 Third Avenue, Gallipolis, is open Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1-3 p.m., and by appointment. For more information contact Jim Love (513-315-9420) or Jerry Davis (740-339-3726).
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