Train Depot (1901-1985)

Research & Collections

When William duPont requested that the passenger train stop at Montpelier to allow him to commute to his offices in Maryland, the train company stated that it would only do so if there were a station at Montpelier.  And, so, William duPont requested the plans for the train station from Southern Railway, and in 1910 built it exactly as the rail company demanded.

The train depot was, however, a product of its time.  Virginia laws required that there be separate waiting rooms—one for “white” passengers and one for “colored” passengers.  In addition to serving passengers, the Depot was home to the Montpelier Depot post office which served the local community.  Although passenger and freight services declined over the years, the post office remained open.  The 1960s saw the end of passenger service and regular freight service, and by 1974 the depot was closed.  The post office remained, and in the year that the depot closed you could still mail a letter there for only 10 cents for first-class postage.

In 2008, The Montpelier Foundation undertook a one-year renovation of the Depot, returning it to the way it was in the 1910s in order to document a time of legalized segregation in Virginia and throughout the United States.
 

The Train Depot, restored in 2008 to its 1910 appearance.