Station's Fate Still Uncertain

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To some people it may be just an old train station, but to the people who have spent more than a decade trying to restore it, it's a historic landmark.

"It was constructed by the B&O Railroad, and it was moved in 1906," says Williamstown Development Authority chairman Michael Ralston. "It's the last remaining railroad station in Wood County."

But the people who recently purchased the property the depot sits on have asked the Williamstown Development Corporation to move the building or demolish it. To supporters of the depot, demolishing it is unreasonable and moving it is unfeasible.

"It's brick and wood and it has a slate roof, and there's no way we can move it," says Elizabeth Beck, the Development Authority's president. "They said if we did move it, we could take it to the Fenton Park, but I don't know how it could ever be moved."

The preliminary injunction handed down Friday by Wood County Circuit Judge George Hill by no means the structure will stay put forever. It just means nothing can be done with it for the time being.

Although it housed a gift shop a few years ago, the depot now sits empty, but its backers say it could be put to good use.

"One way is for us to give it to the Mid-Ohio Valley Veterans Museum," Ralston says. "They are prepared to open it and fill it with exhibitions."

Justin Hardman, the attorney for the defendants, suggested a financial solution to the issue might work out better than a legal one. That might be discussed the next time the case comes up for a hearing.

The Development Corporation says it has spent $360,000 restoring the old train station in the past ten years.