In the News


Over the course of the Columbia Union Station’s construction, use, and renovation it has been featured in various publications in print and more recently online. Below you will find the most current news articles featuring the Depot, along with articles found in Maury County archives. You will see that the Train Depot has been called many names including Columbia Union Station, Columbia Railway Depot, and Columbia Depot.

Marker honors historic Union Station Train Depot

By Jay Powell,

The Daily Herald July 22, 2019

Columbia Train DepotThe city unveiled its newest historical marker Monday at the Union Station Train Depot, bringing attention to one of Columbia’s most beloved buildings, while also signifying Columbia’s future for tourism.

Built in 1902 by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and opening in 1903, the Union Station Train Depot serviced both steam and diesel-powered locomotives during the early 20th century. As the third station built in Columbia, it was once the center for passenger travel, as well as freight and mail shipping.

The three-story train depot even had a few famous visitors over the years, including former U.S. President William Howard Taft, General John Pershing and Buffalo Bill. It stopped operations in 1954 and was later sold into private ownership in 1986.

Seen on Scene: Historic Home Tour, Columbia Depot

By Mariah Timms for The Daily Herald

David and Debra Hill, far right, discuss the restoration process in the Columbia Depot, Union Station during the Historic Home Tour on Saturday. The Hills, owners of the Depot, recently completed the restoration of the former transportation hub for the area. Last week’s tour was only the second time the building has been open to visitors since renovations began. The floor seen in the photo is original, and was laid down by hand, tile by tile. All furniture and art inside the building comes from the Hill private collection of antiques. David Hill said they chose to open the building to the home tour because they want to help raise funds for the Atheneum. All proceeds from the tour will go to restoring the Rectory. (Staff photo by Mariah Timms)


New Life Planned for Century Old Train Depot

By Kelsey Cochran Posted Jan 20, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Columbia Train DepotAfter decades of uncertainty and dilapidation, the Columbia Union Station train depot is getting a makeover.

A standing-room only crowd in the depot’s old waiting room on Depot Street Sunday anxiously waited to hear what David Hill had planned for the building, which he recently purchased from foreclosure.

The reception was part of the Maury County Historical Society’s January meeting, and the depot was opened to the public for the first time in years to give long-time Columbia residents and curious newcomers alike the chance to see the interior of the old station.

Columbia Train Depot to Undergo Big Makeover

Posted: Jan 22, 2013 4:45 PM CSTUpdated: Feb 05, 2013 4:45 PM CST

COLUMBIA, TN (WSMV) –A century-old train station in Maury County is about to get a big makeover decades in the making.

The Union Station train depot has been a landmark in Columbia since 1904, and once served as the social stop for travelers from Nashville to Alabama.

“This is beautiful mosaic flooring. The building is in Romanesque style, and it was in solid blocks of limestone,” said Kathie Fuston, with the Maury County Historical Society…

That’s where local business owner and Maury County native David Hill comes in. With his wife, Debra, Hill bought the foreclosure last fall. 

Depot to be Restored

By Greg Menza

From the Columbia Daily Herald December 5, 2008

It’s possible that before this time next year a Columbia landmark once known as the Columbia Union Station will be restored to look as it did when it was first completed in 1905.

“If all goes well, we expect to have the restoration process complete within six to eight months,” said Jerry Hodges of Sliding Rock Management, the Columbia firm that is serving as the design/builder for the project.

Hodges said workers already are doing maintenance on the building to prevent water damage to its interior.

“The building is now undergoing the re-roofing process, and windows are being put in place to ensure it stays dry inside,” he said.


Maury County Historical Society Museum and Railroad Depot Feasibility Study

Provided by the Maury County Historical Society
April 11, 2002

The Maury County Historical Society was established September 28, 1905 by some visionary individuals. At that time the Charter described the general purpose of the Society was to collect, preserve and perpetuate facts and events connected with the history of Maury County, Tennessee. Over the next 60 years the Society found itself lost in the busy world around it. In 1965, the Society was brought back to life by some dedicated individuals bent on bringing back to life this much needed organization…


Life of a Depot

By Joy Summar
From The Daily Herald June 2001

Depot Main LobbyAll my life I can remember driving down Depot Street in Columbia, Tennessee and seeing a large stone building standing vacant with weeds growing rampant around the building. Some looked as if they were growing in and out of the building. Windows were broken. The air around it seemed to hang heavy with depression and desolation. As I grew older, I learned that it had been the old train station, but I did not know much more than that. When had it been built? Why was it not in use anymore? What did it look like inside? Does it have a future other than sitting as an empty reminder of my town’s past? What did this building have to tell me?


Gillhams Plan to Buy Old Columbia Depot

By Lisa Roose-Church
From The Daily Herald, October 1, 1995

The Colombia Depot was built in 1902 and has not been used since 1954.

Fred Gillham Sr., majority stockholder of TIMCO Inc., hopes to change that.

Gillham Sr. received the Columbia Depot from his wife, Kelli Gillham as a birthday Gift.

“He asked for the depot,” Kelli Gillham said. So, she gave it to him.

The Gillham’s are currently negotiating with the owner, J.A. (Peggy) Morgan, wife of the late Buddy Morgan who served as Columbia city Mayor.


Restorer Takes His Time, Loves His Work

By Janet Davey
From The Daily Herald 1987

The old railroad depot, Columbia’s link to once-faraway places as Nashville and Huntsville, Ala. idly sits gathering cobwebs and dust as a forgotten monument to a forgotten time.

But lately some changes have been seen by this grand old lady like floors being swept for the first time in years, a new roof slowly being nailed on and new wood being fitted for the window frames.

The depot is getting a facelift and Columbia is saving one more historic structure to keep the city’s long and glorious past fresh in the mind of it’s citizens.


What’s in the Future for Columbia Depot?

By Linda Walters Herald Staff Writer
In The Daily Herald June 12, 1983

“It’s vacant and it’s available and it’s over there,” says Birmingham Division superintendent L.D. Macon. The railroad wants to give the county or city first chance at the building, he says. But if all else fails, “I’ve got people who’ll buy it for materials.”

Feet shuffled in and out for 80 years before the stone building was deserted about two months ago.

The last passenger train ran in 1966, but L&N Railroad kept offices after that…


Paper Tells Columbia Depot History

Introduction by Jill Garrett article by Russ Musgrove
In The Daily Herald July 4, 1982

Introduction by Jill Garrett

When you are interested in the past, many nice things come your way.

The most recent one is a limited publication, a class anthology, entitled “Glimpses of History from Maury and Neighboring Counties.”  It was compiled by the American history students of Lewis E Moore Jr., professor of science at CSCC.,

He asked his class to choose a topic pertaining to their county’s past and gave them “a wide range of subjects – a building, a street, a family, a church, a cemetery, a community, a business.”

As the fate of the Columbia depot is up in the air, we will lead off with the article by Russ Musgrove on this once important part of the county’s history.


The Columbia Depot Was Once Center of Activity

By Jill Garrett
The Daily Herald March 27, 1976

The very first time I came to Columbia was in 1933 and I arrived in style – by train!

We caught the train in Florence, Alabama, for a trip to Nashville, and it was necessary to change train in Columbia. As the Florence depot was a rather decrepit one, the Columbia Depot was really an impressive one. (The style is Italianate say those who know.)

The train from Florence was a marvelous…



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.