GALLIPOLIS — After some Gallia residents first approached the Gallipolis City Commission in April with a desire to turn an old abandoned train freight building on Third Avenue into a museum, it would seem they are slowly pulling their dream into reality.
According to Gallipolis Freight Station Museum board member Mike Brown, the organization is currently in the process of getting its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status with the government.
“It will be a museum of local railroad history and model railroading,” Brown said. “We’ve got a number of people who are interested in model railroading as well as trains. We’re talking (model sizes) all the way from N-gauge all the way up to O-gauge, I believe.”
There are six individuals currently on the organization’s board. Jim Love serves as president and was the first individual to appear before the Gallipolis City Commission. Gary Burdette serves as vice-president and Ronald Keenan serves as secretary and treasurer. Bill Thomas, Jerry Davis and Mike Brown fill the remaining board seats.
“We’ve been meeting about once a month after we just started as we’re still waiting on the 501(c)(3) status,” Brown said.
The group first started its application process in December of last year, according to Brown.
So, far the group has accomplished cleanup of the inside of the Third Avenue freight building but major repairs must still be made. Board members had the roof repair appraised at around $25,000 and, still, there is more to do.
“The side next to Third Avenue is in fairly good shape,” Brown said. “We have some holes we need to cover and work with some of the original brick of the (building).”
The group would like to get the location added to the National Historic Registry once it is operational as a museum. Brown said the organization has had individuals already express interest in donating a rail car to the museum, as well as others wishing to come forward with renovation efforts.
“Once we can get our 501(c)(3) status, we can really get things rolling,” Brown said.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.