Home | Photos | Events | Facilities | Parks | Leagues | Programs | Helpful Links | Home | State Chess Championship | Opening Day-Decatur DYB | Awards Luncheon | Ingalls Pavilion | Crafternoon | Fit 'N Female | Daddy-Daughter Valentine Tea | Old State Bank | Kicking off the Christmas Season | By the Numbers | Daddy Daughter | Coed Volleyball | SoulStock | Basketball Camp | Decatur Dixie Darling Recital | River City Shootout | Alabama Grand Prix | First Guests at Ingalls Pavilion | Brenda Vandiver | Employment | Lunch Bunch Club | March for Prenatal Health | Special Olympics | Lacrosse in Decatur | Parents' Guide to Concussions | Sign Him Up! | Ingalls Pavilion | Decatur Dixie Debs U18 | Life at a Recreation Center | Julian Rice Walker | Kids on July 4th | Trunk or Treat | Centennial SportsPlex Results | Parks & Recreation News | Featured Events | Arts 'n Autism | Decatur Dixie Darlings | Kid's Day Camp | Governor's Cup | Now Hiring | Happy Hearts Quilt Show | TC Almon Activities | Austin High School | Regional Special Olympics | Special Olympics Win Big | Outdoor Camp | Riverwild | Summer Swim Lessons | Austin Lady Black Bears | National Special Olympic Games | Eggstravaganza | Summer Camps | Riverwild Grand Opening | Tree Replacement Program | Now Hiring! | Welcome New Employee | TAG | Therapeutics | Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs | Ribbon Cutting & Tournament | John Paul Marusak | Angler of the Year | Kawa Shi Judo Club | Are You an Instructor? | Health Benefits of Running | Punt, Pass & Kick | World Series Champions! | 3v3 Tournament | NUCOR Children's Christmas | 2014 SWAC Softball Championship | Old State Bank Happenings | P.H.A.T | Compliment! | NFL Punt, Pass & Kick | Belly Dancing | The Open Cup | Old State Bank | Open Cup | 2011 NaNoWriMo Success | The Open Cup | Two State Tennis Tournaments | Women's Soccer | EGGstravaganza | NAFECO | Ingalls Pavilion | Why Team Sports? | Trunk or Treat 2013 | The Open Cup | Chess Club | Travel Marketing Professional | Contest | The Open Cup | Charger Chillout! | Charger Chillout | Women's Softball Invitational | The Big Deal | Three Assistant Supervisors | How to Read a Nutrition Label | Decatur Is Number One | The Benefits of Swimming | New Assistant Supervisors | Brazilian Martial Arts | Cast Your Vote | Doubleshot | State Championship Here | DPR Staff | Sponsorships | A Vintage Christmas Tea Party | Man-Up PR | Summer Swim Lessons | Lego-Botics Club | Concerts by the River | March Madness Recap | NASL Fall Classic | Sock Hop! | Lifeguard | Decatur Youth Symphony | Lacrosse in Decatur | Spring Tea Party | Attributes of Recreation | Third Friday | Sportsmanship: A Deeper Understanding | Senior Art Exhibit | Cheerleading | Camp Safe Haven | Recreation Complex | Why a Softball League | Benefits of Water Exercise | Archery | Hit The Road | Parks & Recreation | Benefits of Reading | Amphitheater | Research Project | Presidents Cup | Seven Reasons for Camp | A Great Week! | Alabama Junior Cup | LEGO Education | Google Panoramio | Batting Cages Create Great Hitters | David Donald Albritton | Creation of the Lunch Bunch Club | How Playgrounds Improve the Community | Benefits of Baton | Basketball Boot Camp | Beyond the Bell | Mad Hatter Tea Party | A Look at Decatur | Decatur Depot | Ft. Decatur Kids Day Camp | Great News |
At 9:00 a.m. on August 4, 2015 officials held a brief “topping off” ceremony at the historic Decatur railroad depot. This ceremony entailed placing via a large crane a virtually exact replica design cupola on the depot as it was when the depot was constructed in 1905.
The original cupola is clearly evident in early pictures of the depot but did not exist by the 1940s—and possibly before.
The depot was erected by the Southern Railway whose chief architect in 1905 was the nationally famous Frank Pierce Milburn who generally designed depots in the Spanish Revival style of architecture, the same style as the Decatur depot. The Decatur depot was later used by both the Southern and L&N Railroads, therefore, was for many years considered a “union” depot.
About 75 officials and members of the public attended the topping off ceremony including Mayor Don Kyle and City Council President Gary Hammon together with Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long. Also attending was 94 year old Ross Malone who worked in the depot for about 35 years beginning in 1947 as well as many historical railroad enthusiast citizens. Decatur was the eastern terminus of the Tuscumbia, Courtland and Decatur Railroad, the nation’s first railroad west of the Allegheny Mountains. The city has a railroad history spanning more than 180 years.
Participants included 94 year old Ross Malone (who worked in the Depot for 30+ years beginning in 1947), Bill Wyker (life-long Decatur resident and local businessman whose family established Wyker Hardware on Bank St. in 1888—Ross Malone was the caddy as a young man for Bill’s dad Billy Wyker when BW golfed at Decatur Country Club. Bill and Ross have been friends virtually Bill’s entire life), David Breland (Director of Historic Resources and Events, City of Decatur and life-long Decatur resident), Wally Terry (life-long Decatur resident and Director of Economic Resources (Building, Planning and Community Development Departments) for the City of Decatur and Allen Stover may have made a brief appearance (he is the Grants Administrator for the City of Decatur and instrumental in the restoration of the Depot).
Ross Malone and the others talked about the layout of the Depot in the 1940s, various jobs and people who undertook them during this time period both in the Depot and the Railway Express Agency, railroads themselves and related businesses.
We also discussed the history of Decatur’s downtown during this era including locations of various long-gone landmarks such as hotels, restaurants, the Decatur City Hall and other government buildings. We discussed how segregation of the races affected operation of the Depot during that era. Many former leaders and interesting personalities (now deceased) in the city were discussed as well.
Ross took us on a complete tour of the interior of the Depot outlining where various rooms originally were located as well as their purposes. We also discussed when Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Roy Campanella and other Major League Baseball hall of famers would come to Decatur to play barnstorm games against Decatur semi-pro and pro stars Ross Malone, Junior Vaughn and Leo Gray (the latter two played professional baseball in the old Negro League). A great walk down memory lane….
Director of Historic Resources & Events
City of Decatur, Alabama
- Pictures -