by Lisa Schauer
Council members from the Town of Bath joined with Morgan County Commissioners and other dignitaries to commemorate the grand opening of Berkeley Springs’ historic train depot on Veterans’ Day, Saturday, November 11.
Food trucks, vendors, live music, and a bounce house greeted guests at the opening event. Visitors toured inside the depot to view dioramas and displays about the history of the depot, and its years-long renovation project, funded by government grants and donations.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony kicked off the opening events, along with remarks from Bath Recorder Susan Webster, Mayor Scott Merki and others.
“This is a significant event because it represents the preservation of our history. I’d like to give a big shout out to the Town of Bath for all their hard work,” said West Virginia Senator Charles Trump prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“In 2008, I decided it was time to bring this wonderful historic depot to its highest and best condition,” said Webster in her opening remarks.
“I needed to build a team of skilled and willing volunteers to do it, and The Morgan Messenger wrote an article with my request. What came from that article was the Town of Bath Depot dream team,” continued Webster, recognizing architect Micheal Gotwald, Realtor Ryan Rebant, late project manager John McCracken, the Foxglove Garden Club, and the Morgan County Genealogical and Historical Society, among others, for their dedication and support.
The Berkeley Springs train depot first opened in 1915 and served to send off and receive passengers on short and long-distance rail journeys until the train stopped coming to town and the track was removed in the 1980s.
The depot is registered in the National Register of Historic Places.
Town and county officials envision the historic building and the lot around the depot as an anchor for the redevelopment of the North End of Berkeley Springs, with work underway on a North Berkeley Rail Trail, a stormwater management garden feature and tree plantings nearby.