GALLIPOLIS — With the recent announcement of capital bill funding appropriations for Gallia County organizations, the Gallipolis Railroad Freight Station Museum is setting its sights on $75,000 to finish the floor of its interior exhibit area and more.
“We are tickled to death with that,” said Museum Board Vice President Jerry Davis. “We’re hoping with that money to devote it to the completion or almost completion of the freight area of the station.”
Davis said the office of the museum is “practically” finished. However, much of the interior of the old freight station needs to be finished with the reconstruction of an original Nelsonville Star Brick floor and insulation for the structure’s walls. Electricity and restroom facilities have already been installed.
“It will take about 4,000 bricks to get done and we’ve about 4,100 that we’ve been able to get,” said Davis. “The city had saved part of the original ones and they’ve given them back to us.”
The vice president said the floor of the museum’s main interior exhibit area will be finished first as a lift will need to be utilized to assist in insulating the upper areas of the building and the addition of wood to cover them. Currently, the floor of the exhibit area is a bare and sandy base.
“If we have sufficient funds left, we’ll put up double, glass doors to make entry ways into the museum,” said Davis. “It will double layer with the freight doors for an extra layer of protection while keeping the original aesthetic of the building.”
Davis said the museum would be covered in foam insulation but that it would leave its rafters and steel tie rods exposed for the sake of their historical and structural value.
“Ideally, we’ll eventually have lighting aimed up there to expose them,” said the vice president.
Heating and cooling will also be added to the interior exhibition area as funds are available.
“Once everything is done, we hope to be able for people to put exhibits, model railroads and other displays in there,” said Davis. “People have been asking when they could start.”
The museum also hopes to apply for grant funding in the future to finish restoring its exterior rail cars. The institution is anticipating the construction of a rail switch as a means of adding additional rail cars or engines to its track as well.
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Dean Wright is a freelance writer and former, full-time reporter for Ohio Valley Publishing.