In the News
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. In 1985 Articles of Amendment to the Charter were put in place. The amendments expanded the Society’s role in the community by stating that “the corporation may engage in activities consisting of acquiring, restoring and preserving historical or architecturally significant buildings and making such restored buildings available for public viewing, … “. The Society was given the financial wherewith to see many of these activities come to fruition thanks to the significant contribution made by Mrs. John Deere Wyman and In addition to this major contribution, untold numbers of hours of hard work and dedication by numerous volunteers as been provided to this organization. Today the Society enjoys the ownership of some $531,000 in Certificate of Deposits.
For many years there has been a ground swell of emotion throughout the county to preserve more of the county’s history. This has included the preservation of numerous documents, artifacts and major landmarks. Regretfully, we have also lost many more documents, artifacts and landmarks to deterioration, greed and so called progress. It has been brought to the attention of this Society’s Board of Directors that a county-wide museum should be considered in its future preservation activities.
The Columbia Passenger Depot, was constructed in 1902 by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company.
The Columbia Passenger Depot, was constructed in 1902 by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company. Currently the building and approximately 1.06 acres is owned by Southern Railway. It has been conveyed that they are interested in selling the building and land for $325,000.
With this in mind, the Society’s Board of Directors requested that a study be conducted to determine the feasibility of purchasing and establishing the Maury County Museum in the old Columbia Passenger Depot. This was not a study to justify the concept of a museum. Urgency was placed on this effort because of a concern that the property would be lost to another buyer. Therefore, this study is being submitted as “Qualified·- Subject to Time Restraints”.
It is the recommendation of the Committee that the Columbia Passenger Depot and accompanying 1.06 acres and the track immediately adjacent to the facility be purchased. It is further recommended that a representative of the Society be authorized to negotiate in good faith for the purchase of the facility for a price not to exceed $325,000.00. This offer would be made up of $200,000.00 cash and allowance of the seller to seek up to $125,000.00 in taxable contributions. Specific stipulations would accompany the offer that all Federal EPA and other environmental contamination issues are removed from the site prior to the closing or remain the liability of the seller. It would also be a stipulation that the Society (or a division of) is successful in obtaining Tax Exempt Status 501c3 status. It is recommended, that if successful in the purchase, the Society would move with haste to implement Phase I of the plan and to expand the study to a more complete document prior to implementing subsequent Phases that are outlined in this study.
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.