Welcome to BeaverDamDepot.org
Association for the Preservation of Beaverdam Depot
Welcome to The Beaverdam Depot
With century-old walls of scorched and worn brick, Beaverdam's depot spans the history of the railroad era. A copy of the text from a missing plaque, erected on June 13, 1916, to commemorate the depot's role in the Civil War, explains that the depot was built in the early part of the War Between the States to store military supplies. This is confirmed in Chessie's Road, Charles Turner's 1956 history of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company, which tells about the 1862 destruction of buildings erected at Beaverdam in 1861 to store military supplies under orders of the Confederate government. Located on the strategic Virginia Central Railroad, the depot was burned 3 times and raided 4 times by Federal troops trying to break the iron line that transported Confederate troops and supplies between Richmond and Northern Virginia.
On July 19, 1862, Federal troops burned the depot and confiscated or destroyed 3 passenger cars; 100 freight cars; 2 locomotives; the telegraph; 10 miles of track; and 200,000 pounds of bacon and other stores amounting to a total of 1,500,000 pounds of Rebel rations. The depot was burned a 2nd time, on February 29, 1864, when General Kilpatrick raided the station and destroyed a large amount of army supplies. Only 2 months later, on May 9, 1864, the depot was burned a 3rd time by General Sheridan, who surprised several trains, destroyed recently deposited stores, disabled 2 engines, and burned 29 cars. The depot escaped burning the 4th time because it had not been rebuilt when Major Hartwell B. Compson raided the station on March 13, 1865.
Raised from ashes twice during the Civil War, the depot was rebuilt the 3rd time to serve the rural community of Beaverdam in the same manner its station had served before 1861. The Louisa Railroad (later to become the Virginia Central) had been chartered in 1836 to supply better transportation facilities for landlocked areas in the Piedmont region. Fare from Frederick Hall depot to Beaverdam was 75¢; 307,663 pounds of flour, corn, wheat, tobacco, lumber, and similar freight goods were collected from June, 1843, to June, 1844. After the war, the Virginia Central became the original section of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company, and the Beaverdam depot became the community's gathering place and transportation center of the 1920's still remembered by today's residents. By the 1980's, over a hundred years after it had been built, the decline of the railroads signaled loss of the depot. Still used to store freight, it began to deteriorate rapidly. But now, for the 4th time, the Beaverdam depot will be restored to continue its history in another century