locked Re: Gordonsville, Virginia

George Eichelberger


Re: Depot Drawings…..

The number of drawings will not be nearly as high as we might think. There are many examples where a drawing was simply reused, sometime the original name is simply scratched out. Other times, I suspect there was no drawing at all.

The Southern had a formula for depot and combination depot designs that was based on the expected revenue from both white and “colored” passengers and express. The revenue from each resulted in the number of square feet of each to be built. Expansions used the same formula. (This applies only to depots on the Southern proper, no data has been found on how the CNO&TP, AGS, etc. buildings were designed.)

The materials for a depot were loaded into a box car and sent to the site to be built by local B&B forces. The Bill of Materials included enough framing lumber, roofing material, doors and windows, to build the square footage of each part indicated by the formula. If the design was the same as another depot, that drawing was used as the reference. Different drawings usually show different designs even if the changes were minor.

Even though the Southern did not have a series of “standard” depot designs, most wood building designs were modular. Note the attached partial drawing for Hurt, VA. Both the passenger and freight sections show vertical posts where the roof overhang brackets are mounted. The two leftmost windows on the track side of the building are the white waiting room. The posts are on 8 ft centers giving a 16’ wide waiting room. If the formula yielded a 24 foot wide waiting room, the B&B forces would know the materials needed to build the larger size.

Of course, this is a simple example and one that changed over the years so many variations are apparent in photos.

Another “unknown” appears in the ICC valuation descriptions. Depots are described as “Type 1”, "Type 2”, etc. with no explanation of what the types indicate; construction, brick or wood, roof types, etc.

Not a huge number of drawings but still much that needs to be researched!


On Jun 8, 2019, at 9:57 AM, Cohen Bob via Groups.Io <orl96782@...> wrote:

Ike , Bill and all others:

Thanks for sharing these images and maps. Yes, a station project would be neat to do and have. Geez, how many thousands of drawings and images would such a monumental task take to do and what percentage of those which once existed do you/the archives still have?

From my Washington & Danville division knowledge, I know that just Washington division alone must have had about 150 depots in total, multiply times how many different drawings per depot, then multiply that again by how many divisions of all the various sizes. Washington must have maybe a thousand images give or take a few. Danville because it encompassed a larger region was more still.

That adds up to how many tens of thousands of files.

Okay, journey of thousand miles begins with single step but Wow and double wow!


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