Old train station in Ohio
Antwerp Norfolk and Western Depot, Antwerp Ohio
This station is a classic example of the small town depot, traditionally the center of commercial activity in these Black Swamp railroad towns. Its decorative trim and large size indicate that this town of Antwerp was the metropolis of the county until 1890 when the trees were harvested and shipped east by railroad.
This station has clearly defined spaces for passenger transportation, operator-agency functions, freight, express and mail services which are unchanged since the depot closed about 1976. The local historical society has purchased the building from Norfolk and Western who want it moved from their land. Plans are underway to relocate the station on the west edge of town in a park along the railroad tracks.
The depot was relocated by the present owners after continued negotiation with the Norfolk and Western Railroad were unsuccessful in obtaining any commitment for its preservation. In fact the rail line was preparing to demolish the structure, thereby forcing the local historical society into action. The depot was moved in December 1979 and placed on a new foundation approximately 200' west of its original site, preserving its original relationship to the railroad, in January 1980.
This one-story frame depot has board and batten siding, found rarely and used mainly for railroad depots in this part of the state. Built around 1880 in the last county to be settled in Ohio, it has a roof with a wide overhang supported by triangular brackets at the gable ends. Lattice-like bargeboard at the peaks, and oversize brackets and knobs at the eaves line decorate its exterior. The handsome three-sided bay area with recessed panels above and below the windows allowed the stationmaster in his office an excellent view of the tracks. The freight room has two sets of double doors with a cross and diamond pattern in the diagonal siding in four panels, one on the north side of the building and one on the south side. Diagonal siding is also used below a high wainscotting that encircles the whole building.
Today the baggage room is on the west end and the passenger waiting room is on the east. Historic photos from around 1900 indicate that at one time the spaces were reversed in their use. It seems that an addition was built at the west end which matches quite well the original building except that the bracketing is heavier and less elegant. Now the bay area is no longer centralized on the tracks side and two sets of double doors were added to accommodate freight parcels.
The mast of the station order board still stands, but the arms are now gone. Historic photos show that the station at one time had a metal ball signal from which the term "high balling" was derived. The name of the town ANTWERP is painted on the east gable of the building in faded letters.