The Hamlet Passenger Depot By Kay Fetner | Photography by Ashley Fetner
In 1870 a railroad ran from Wilmington,N.C., to the Pee Dee River and then on to Charlotte. Another railroad built in 1877 between Raleigh and Augusta, Ga., crossed it in Hamlet, N.C. The town of Hamlet was incorporated in 1897.
The Hamlet passenger station was built in 1900 for the Seaboard Airline Railroad and is the only Victorian Queen Anne passenger station in North Carolina. Because of its history and unique architecture the depot is known nationally and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
While growing up in Hamlet, Ashley Fetner saw this station as a very busy place with as many as 13 through freight trains, including locals and extras, plus 20 passenger trains passing through each day. The lunch counter in the newsstand served home-cooked meals and was always full of passengers, railroad workers and local people.
In order to preserve the depot, the city of Hamlet and the North Carolina Department of Transportation relocated and renovated the station. In March 2003, the station was rotated 90 degrees. In April 2003, with a “July 4th atmosphere” complete with bleachers and lawn chairs, the station was moved across the tracks to its new location.
The station today serves as an Amtrak stop for two passenger trains a day.
Ashley Fetner is a fine art photographer and an instructor at Randolph Community College. He and Kay are members of Randolph EMC.