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Chair: Ted Yarbrough
‘SATURDAY SINGING AT THE DEPOT’
CONCERT AT THE CHATSWORTH DEPOT
June 10, 2023
1-4pm Concert @ 2:30pm Corner of Market St. & 1st. Ave., Chatsworth
The event will feature congregational singing from the "Red Book" Church Hymnal. The Winkler Sisters--above left to right: Linda West, Charlotte Chauncey, Rita Hawkins, and Vickie Chapman--will sing two or three specials during the event. Visit the historic Wright Hotel and Chatsworth Depot 1-4pm.
*1905 Depot was Chatsworth’s first public building and will be open for tours. *1909 Wright Hotel Tours complete with period and original furnishings will be open for tours.
*Tours and concert are free and provided complements of our business partners First National Community Bank, Murray County’s Elected Officials, Dr. John Robson, and Bojangles/Captain D’s/Krystal Restaurants of Chatsworth
Tours, Trains and More
in Downtown Chatsworth
Second Saturdays This Summer
The Chatsworth Depot and The Wright Hotel
The Chatsworth Depot and The Wright Hotel, located on First Avenue and Market Street in downtown Chatsworth, have been important local gathering places since the City was founded early in the 20th Century. The Whitfield-Murray Historical Society continues that tradition with its annual “Second Saturday” events at these historic venues.
The 2023 “Second Saturday” season gets underway on June 10 with the return of the popular “Singing at the Depot”. Highlights include group singing favorite selections from the well-known “redback” Church Hymnal used in area churches for decades with special songs by Murray County’s own Winkler Sisters (Linda, Charlotte, Rita, and Vicki). There is no admission charged for the event. The Depot will be open from 1-4 p.m. with the singing getting underway at 2:30.
For many years travelers on the original Louisville and Nashville Railroad through Chatsworth could spend the night at The Wright Hotel. This National Register Historic Site was constructed in 1909 and operated into the 1960’s. This three-story structure will be open for tours as well. The building features period furnishings along with exhibits about early Murray County history.
On display for the first time will be a collection of artifacts and photographs from the Colvard Community in northwest Murray County. Among the items on display will be books from the Colvard School, items used in country stores like the one which operated at the corner of Hall’s Chapel Road and GA 225 for most of the 20th Century, Dr. T.W. Colvard’s business ledger, letters and record books of Mrs. Julia Colvard—perhaps the only woman who served as a church or school trustee in early Murray County. The collection has been donated to the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society by area residents and Colvard descendants Julia Clary and Sarah Badger. Visitors can also see a “new” selection of hand tufted and chenille bedspreads from the Wells-Bradley family recently donated by Murray County native Kay Moreland Hargrett. Hotel tours are also free and begin at 1 p.m.
Second Saturdays are sponsored by area businesses including Bradley Ace Hardware, Peeples Funeral Home, Krystal/Bojangles/Captain D’s, and First National Community Bank along with Dr. John Robison and Murray County’s elected officials. Donations are always encouraged to assist with the preservation of these historic buildings.
For more information check both the Wright Hotel and Chatsworth Depot Facebook pages as well as the historical society website at www.whitfield-murrayhistoricalsociety.org. Second Saturdays on July 8 and August 10 will feature local authors and their newest works as well as a popular blue train!
In 1904 the Louisville and Nashville railroad system ran from Cincinnati, Ohio to Etowah, Tennessee. In order to complete a direct line to Atlanta, the L&N railroad system began laying tracks from Etowah south. In 1905, tracks were laid through Murray County. The Chatsworth Depot, now located adjacent to the Wright Hotel, was built along the tracks during this period. It contained a waiting room, an agent's office, an express baggage room, and a freight room. The L&N Railroad employed many Murray County residents, and trains would stop daily to transport residents traveling to and from Cartersville and other points. President Franklin D. Roosevelt once spent a night in his private car at the depot on his way to Warm Springs, where he went for polio therapy. The depot is the oldest public building in Chatsworth.
The restored depot currently houses two museums: one chronicles the growth of the local talc industry; the other documents more than a century of railroad service in Murray County.
The Talc Museum contains a collection of historical information and artifacts relating to the talc industry in Murray County, including maps, documents, photographs, news articles, tools and special equipment.
The Railroad Museum concentrates on passenger and freight service through Murray County. Original items from several Murray County depots are on display along with an extensive display of tools, equipment, documents, and photographs related railroad history. A G-Scale model railroad and a HO-Scale model railroad are both operable and located in the depot.
A 1960 Seaboard Coast Line caboose is also on display on the grounds of the Depot Museum.
Caboose after restoration
Friends of the Chatsworth Depot
The depot has had the exterior recently restored thanks to a grant obtained by the City of Chatsworth. Past grants from Lowe’s and donations from area businesses and residents have allowed for the exterior of the caboose to be restored and pending financial resources, work on the interior restoration is in progress. Some of the caboose restoration has been done by the local high school construction club, giving the students some real-life experiences while helping to develop their appreciation of history.
Today, the Depot is again a busy place. The second Saturday of April each year the depot hosts a ‘Model Train Expo’ with model trains operating inside and outside the building while displaying the work of area model railroad groups. May through August will find visitors coming to music concerts on the second Saturday of each month. The third weekend of October the depot opens for the local Black Bear Festival with special displays. Tours are always available when the depot is open for these events. A highlight each year is the Polar Express where model trains run in winter scenes and the story is read by a local retired educator as the children enjoy refreshments. More info and updates can be found on the Facebook page, so be sure to look up the depot and like the page to keep up to date on all the events.
The Chatsworth Depot, originally on the L & N Railroad, has been moved a block from its original location behind the Wright Hotel.
The Caboose and Depot are located adjacent to the Wright Hotel
Photos from Past Music Events at Chatsworth Depot!