Hill Union Station
About Hill Union Station
The Depot building as it stands, is in better than new condition. It now has been rewired, plumbed, has a sprinkler system, all new bathroom fixtures, new period lighting fixtures, along with heating and cooling systems! All of the base marble and the bathroom marble dividers have been replaced. The building was also 100% plastered. All this work was done because of previous neglect, and destruction. Five original window frames were bought back from the Columbia Flea Market after stumbling across them on an online classified ad while researching the station. They were purchased, re-glazed, with period glass, as was all interior glass. The building is now ready for its next 100 years!
The Depot “Union Station” was officially opened on November 13th 1903. The first train headed to Mt. Pleasant @ 1:00 p.m.
Many notable people passed through the Depot, including President William Howard Taft, General John Pershing, Buffalo Bill, evangelist Billy Sunday, and Williams Jennings Bryan, a Nebraska congressman, and three time Presidential candidate.
The Depot was used for passenger travel up until December 1966, Freight was moved on the lines until 1982.
The Depot was then first sold into private hands in 1986. It was later transferred to a couple of the other owners, with attempts at the Monumental task of Restoration.
The Depot played a tremendous role in bringing economic growth to Columbia; perhaps it can help bring people back to Columbia to see the importance of “Preserving the Past”!
Hill Union Station Timeline
The Depot was used for passenger travel up until December 1966. For more detailed information view the news article The Columbia Depot Was Once Center of Activity.
David and Debra Hill open the building to public viewing during a Christmas historic home tour in Columbia, TN. The tour helped raise funds towards restoration of the Atheneum, another historical landmark in Columbia. This is the second time the union station was opened up to visitors after renovations started. Seen on Scene: Historic Home Tour, Columbia Depot
On Monday, July 22, 2019 the City of Columbia held a Historical Marker Dedication Ceremony to recognize the Union Station Train Depot.
The text on the marker covers the front and back and reads:
“Columbia’s Union Station Train Depot was built in 1902 by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad and opened in November 1903. Designed in a vernacular Romanesque style, it is one of the city’s most imposing landmarks. The two-story brick and stone structure was built with a highly decorated interior that featured paneled oak wainscoting, molded chair rails, paneled beam ceilings embellished with plaster rosettes, ornamental window surrounds, decorative tile floors with Greek key borders, and marble baseboards. This, Columbia’s third depot, was built at a cost of $200,000. In the early 20th century during its heyday, the Union Station Train Depot was the center of passenger travel as well as freight and mail shipping. It serviced both steam and diesel-powered locomotives. It was the embarkation point for soldiers heading to war, and visitors included President William Howard Taft, General John Pershing, and Buffalo Bill. The last passenger train left Columbia’s Union Station on December 7, 1954. The depot was sold by the railroad in 1986 into private ownership.”
The Daily Herald features an article describing the event, to read more from that go to: Marker honors historic Union Station Train Depot
The City of Columbia’s Tourism and Marketing Director, Kellye Murphy, created a commemorative poster attendees of the event where able to take with them, click below to see a digital version.
HillHistoricProperties.com exists to showcase the rich architecture and history in Columbia, Tennessee through highlighting properties owned by David and Debra Hill. Each property has gone through extensive preservation and restoration to become timeless landmarks of the community. Mr. and Mrs. Hill were presented with the Association of the Preservation of Tennessee Antiques (APTA) Virginia Alexander Volunteer of the Year Award in 2019 for their historic preservation efforts in Maury County.