Salem... Where was the old depot?

nw-mailing-list at nw-mailing-list at
Tue Jun 22 07:43:52 EDT 2004


The present Salem station was completed in February, 1891. Construction 
began in the fall of 1890, I don't have my exact dates easily at hand, 

The previous Salem depots stood where the old freight depot stood, 
which I refer to as an AM&O style, about a half mile west of the 
present station. The freight house stood into the mid to late 1960s. 
West of the highway bridge, present site of a concrete plant was a 
turntable and woodyard. Those two probably lasted until about the time 
of the 1891 depot construction.

The AM&O style depot was built after the War, probably in the 1870s or 
1880 . The first Salem depot was destroyed by Union troops in a raid, 
records are a bit unclear and the time frame to rebuild a depot is a 
bit short, so I suspect that a second depot was not actually built 
until the AM&O era. I have a V&T letter dated 1866 (I believe) that 
refers a shipper to sending their shipment elsewhere, due to the depot 
in Salem only being a temporary depot made from a boxcar. Perhaps there 
was a replacement built before the freight station that survived, I 
wish I had some records, but even the photos of the AM&O building are 
not real common.  A few company shots document it, but nothing (that I 
have seen) prior.

Regarding the train order signals, none of the photos I have of the 
place (from about 1900 on) indicated order boards at any point. Not 
saying it was not possible, just unlikely.

There was a train register for the Catawba Branch located outside at 
the 1891 depot, but I have never seen proof that any  train orders were 
issued at Salem in the era after 1900. I gladly stand to be corrected!

Ken Miller

On Jun 20, 2004, at 5:48 PM, nw-mailing-list at wrote:

> The existing Salem station (the stone one) is said to have been 
> constructed in 1891.
> Two questions:
> 1.)  Did the operator in this station ever have train order signals 
> (and mebbe manual block signals) ?  (Gee whiz, that would have 
> required a down-hill rod pipeline, huh !!! )
> 2.)  Where was the Salem passenger depot located before the 1891 
> building was constructed?
> Maybe Harry B. remembers...
> -- abramo burnett
>         (still full of arcane and fruitless musings)
> _______________________________________________
> NW-Mailing-List at

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