As far back as 1888, travelers would gather at the Odum Depot to wait for one of
two new daily passenger trains. Somewhere around 1904, the original Odum Depot was
destroyed by fire. In 1905, a new Depot was built and remained in Odum until 1969,
when it was purchased by Will Murphy and moved to Jesup. In 1984, the City of Jesup
condemned the building and moved it to the city's sewer treatment plant.
Several local history buffs recognized the building in 1992 and started making plans
for its return to Odum. The City of Odum applied for and received a $100,000
Transportation Enhancement Grant through the Department of Community Affairs and a
Local Development Grant in the amount of $10,000. With these monies, along with
donations from Odum citizens and a $3,000 donation from Odum Homecoming, the restoration
In October 2002, days after the 27th annual Odum Day, the Depot was moved back to
its rightful place in downtown Odum. It took more than three and one-half hours to
move the 68 x 35 foot building 12 miles to its town-square site.
The Depot arrived in Odum with no roof, no windows, no doors intact. Vines were
growing in the building, and someone had built a fire in the freight room causing
damage to the heart pines floor. The Depot consisted of four rooms; a large
freight room, an office where the Depot master sat at the bay window so he could
watch for the train coming down the track, and two waiting rooms.
Within two weeks of its return home, the nearly 100 year old building began to
take shape and started to resemble the Depot that once stood in Odum, sheltering
those waiting to hear the whistle of the Old Southern Railway engine traveling on
the East Tennessee, Georgia and Virginia Railroad and await the conductor's call
of ALL ABOARD.
Even though this majestic building will never again be used for this purpose,
we can be proud of the efforts and persistence of those who brought home to Odum
a little piece of history for all to enjoy.