GALLIPOLIS — The Gallipolis Railroad Freight Station Museum has been busy making strides towards rehabilitating the interior of the museum’s structure on Third Avenue.
According to Museum Board Vice-President Jerry Davis, the museum has been adding permanent electrical access and wiring into the old freight station depot as well as constructing restroom facilities, getting plans squared away for heating installation as well as insulation. Davis in the past has said the board is focusing on completing the office area of the museum in order to begin having operations active in the building.
The station is also awaiting the addition of a Baltimore and Ohio caboose and boxcar from the West Virginia State Farm Museum, said Davis.
The museum board has received $125,000 in state funding to be put towards maintenance and restoration efforts from the Ohio capital fund.
Over the summer, the station installed a former circus passenger car that was once part of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus on rails behind the station.
“We’ve come a long ways in a couple years,” said Board President Jim Love previously. “We’d like to turn the car into a meeting place and modify it for educational purposes.”
Efforts are ongoing to determine how to rehabilitate the car.
The museum also received a caboose from Porter Township around Wheelersburg in 2017. In 2018, the museum loaded a 1945 Porter steam engine onto its outside rails. According to Davis, the engine originally operated without a fire box and was filled with steam. This allowed it to operate in areas where an open flame may be too dangerous for other steam engines.
Love first approached Gallipolis City Commission about turning the aging station into a museum in April 2016. According to him, the station had served as an old freight house and was built in 1901 by Hocking Valley, a rail company of the time. The building is roughly 118 years-old and Love had once served as the building’s telegrapher. It closed in the early 1980s.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342.