The Town of Elm City, NC Train Depot Community Center
The Elm City, NC Train Depot Community Center was nearly a century in the making. The original wood building was destroyed in a fire, rebuilt with brick and put into service in 1910. The train depot was a regular stop in the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad system up to the 1960s, when stops in the Town of Elm City were discontinued.
For many years after, it was used for storage and the sale of fertilizer. It was completely cleared out in 2002, and left vacant before being donated to The Town of Elm City by CSX. In 2004, the N. C. Department of Transportation Enhancement Program awarded Elm City $322,550, originally intended to cover the cost of relocating and renovating the structure. Unfortunately, the money only covered the costs of purchasing the lot it now sits on and the relocation of the depot structure.
On June 18, 2010 the structure was relocated to its current location about 100 feet from the original and can now be found behind the Methodist Church of Elm City. Once there, it sat the better part of a decade.
It proved to be quite the undertaking to renovate the building. Due to it being on the National Register of Historic Places, all renovations had to be done in accordance to historic preservation standards. Fortunately, a grant of $1.2 million was awarded to the Town of Elm City by U. S. Department of Agricultural Rural Development. It then only took approximately six months for Daniels and Daniels Construction to complete the renovations.
The old train depot turned community center reopened its doors on August 3, 2017 fully renovated, including a new slate roof, new wiring, and handicap accessibility. It now serves as a gathering center for those in Elm City. It houses the railroad museum, and holds classes with partnerships through the agricultural office and local community college. There is a room for rent for events, and at the time of its grand reopening already had much interest without any advertising.
The Town of Elm City, like many smaller rural towns looking for individuality and identity, seems to have found what they were looking for and this beautifully renovated space may just be the centerpiece they had hoped for.