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Chatham Train Depot Set to Become Library - abc27 WHTM

Chatham Train Depot Set to Become Library

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Chatham, VA - Pittsylvania County will be stepping back in time with an extension of their public library system.

The Chatham Train Depot - a staple in the town since 1918 - has been renovated. It will now serve as a Library and Genealogical Resource Center set to open this spring.

A historical site that was in danger of demolition.

"Norfolk Southern said either buy the station, lease the station or we will tear it down, " said Project Manager Glenn Giles.

The Chatham train depot hasn't been used since 1975. Now it is finding new life as part of the Pittsylvania County Library system.

"A historical building that dates back into the 1800's is just a perfect place to house something like this and it's a beautiful facility, " said Diane Adkins, executive director of the Pittsylvania County Library System.

Adkins says the project was more than 10 years in the making. The Pittsylvania Historical Society obtained federal grants from VDOT. Now the $1.5 million center is almost complete.

"We will have exhibits of area history. We will also have a section dedicated to veterans' history." said Giles.

Visitors will have access to various books, photographs and databases, including Ancestry.com, Heritage Quest and African American Heritage, and many pieces from the Historical Society's Collection will also be on display.

Adkins hopes that folks in the community will use these relics from the past to maybe learn new things about themselves.

"Particularly in the South the past is really important and this just gives people the opportunity to access what's available, and we just can't wait. We just can't wait to see people come in, " she said.

The depot is located on Whitehead Road in Chatham. Adkins says the center will be open to the public in April.

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