GALLIPOLIS — Ohio Valley Bank donated $12,000 towards the Gallipolis Train Station Museum Wednesday as the museum’s board seeks to replace a roughly $25,000 slate roof at the old freight depot location on Third Avenue.
“It’s really exciting anytime you get a good community project going like this,” said President and CEO of Ohio Valley Bank Tom Wiseman. “It benefits everybody. We’d like to stay involved and do what we can to make sure (the museum) comes to life. The beauty of this deal is you’re taking a piece of property that was going to be torn down or continue to sit and dilapidate. Now you can turn it into a teaching tool and as a destination for kids. It’s taking a bad piece of property and making it useful.”
President of the museum board Jim Love said he was “thrilled” with the result of the day’s interaction.
Rod Clary has an excavating company and did all the grating, putting down the stone for the track, said Love. A track company out of Leon, W.Va., will donate and lay rail for the museum.
“It was built in 1901,” said Love of the freight depot station. “I believe the railroad came here in 1880. It was in operation when they built this.”
Love worked as a telegraph operator in the facility years ago. In April 2016, he approached the Gallipolis City Commission to see if the organization could obtain the facility. The commission agreed albeit under the condition the property was only ever to be used as a museum.
A caboose is anticipated to be donated from Porter Township in May to the museum. Love and his comrades intend to donate lanterns, old memorabilia, tools, papers, an old-style track drill and more. If space allows, there was also talk of adding model train sets in the museum. A 1947 train tank engine is also anticipated to be delivered later in the year to sit at the museum.
As soon as the slate roof can be restructured, the museum plans to look into wall maintenance and painting.
The freight depot was originally a major receiver of traveling goods. The building reportedly closed in the 1960s. Examples of freight delivered to the depot would have been tons of Lake Erie ice utilized in a local ice house in downtown Gallipolis.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.