1918 Rail Depot Restoration
The Pittsylvania Historical Society saved the abandoned depot from a wrecking crew in 1998 and embarked on what was to be a 1.5 million dollar restoration, completed in June of 2012. Thee 3100 square foot station today houses a Veterans History Museum and a historical society museum that regularly changes its display of county history. The depot’s main waiting room is now a community meeting room that hosts cultural programs and meetings by civic groups.
The Pittsylvania County Public Library maintains a genealogical research center in the freight depot section of the station. Hours are from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday. Of special interest is a scaled diorama of this Chatham Train Station, depicting the early twentieth century, with moving trains amid underpasses among panoramic views of nearby countryside and townscape.
Train enthusiasts will find a viewing platform adjacent to the depot that affords elevated viewing of a north south mainline of the Norfolk-Southern Railway that carries traffic between Lynchburg, Virginia and Danville, Virginia.
View an introductory video about the History Research Center & Library, below.
Veterans History Project:
The Society became an official partner in the National Veterans History Project which was approved by Congress in October 2000. This program involves the collecting and preserving of audio and video taped oral histories, along with documentary materials such as letters, diaries, maps, and photographs of America’s war veterans. These original documents and materials are preserved in the restored depot.
The Pittsylvania Historical Society has ensured that the public will be able to access taped interviews, and view the artifacts of the area’s veterans. Oral histories, diaries, letters and photographs are being collected. Generations to come will be able to view video of their ancestors talking about their service to their country. The materials will also be beneficial to historians and genealogists.