~ our history ~
RAILROAD DEPOT
50 NORTH CENTER STREET

 

 

Originally planned by the Sunday Creek Railroad Company, the railroad line through Pickerington was constructed by the Toledo and Ohio Central Railroad Company. The T & OC constructed the main line through Pickerington, as well as a siding track on the north side of the main track. This ensured that the “payload” trains, those that carried goods that resulted in a profit for the railroad, were given the right of way.

The railroad was completed in 1880 and the depot is estimated to have been constructed in 1879. The depot was built as a combination station, serving both freight and passengers and consists of three rooms each with 14-foot ceilings. One end was used for freight, while the other end served as a passenger waiting room. The center room was the depot agent’s office. The depot agent also served as the Western Union agent.

The building, heated in the winter by two pot-bellied stoves was cooled in the summer by leaving the doors open. It was not until the appointment of a female agent in 1947, Helen Jolley Fick, that the depot had “indoor plumbing.” Before this, an outhouse with one side marked for women and one side marked for men, served the public.

The coming of the railroad spurred growth into the Village of Pickering and contact with the outside world brought many changes. Spur tracks were built to accommodate the growth of new business. Track was laid for the tile mill and stockyard. Another line was built to serve lumberyard and grain mill, while a third section of track served the grain warehouses and future hoop mill.

In 1954, the T & OC Railroad sold the Pickerington line to New York Central Railroad Company and in 1958, the depot was closed. In early 1970’s, Penn Central Railroad Co. Purchased the railroad and it continues to be used by Con Rail to transport caol from southeast Ohio to Columbus.

The depot served as a storage building for several years until purchased by John Grunewald in 1975. Mr. Grunewald restored the depot and added a collection of railroad memorabilia, including lanterns, tools, bottles, original tickets, maps schedules, the Morse Code Western Union key and many old photographs.