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November 23, 2013

The Monticello Depot placed on National Register - 10/31/1995

The Monticello Depot in Monticello, Mississippi was built in 1906. The Depot was also known as the "New Orleans Great Northern Railroad Depot" and/or the "Orleans
Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio (GM&0) Depot".

The Monticello Depot was entered into the the "National Register" of the National Park Service on 10/31/1995.

Historic Functions: Transportation/rail related
Foundation: wood.
Walls: wood, asbestos
Roof: Asphalt

Period of Significance: circa 1906 -1945

Architect/Builder: unknown

Primary location of additional data: State Historic Preservation Office
Property Owner: Town of Monticello. Mavor Jerry G. McLean

Located between the main north-south freight line formerly owned by the GM & O Railroad and Highway 84, in the center of downtown Monticello, the New Orleans Great Northern Railroad Depot, also known as the G.M. & O. Railroad Depot and the Monticello Depot, is a one-story, rectangular, frame building. Built in 1906, the depot is sheathed in asbestos siding over board-and- batten siding, with a skirting of exposed board-and-batten siding, and sits on a foundation of timber piling and brick piers. The building is surmounted by an asphalt-shingled, gable roof with overhanging eaves, exposed rafters, and decorative knee braces. A raised platform, skirted with wooden planks, wraps around the eastern and southern elevations and is accessed by wooden steps.

The westerly elevation faces the track and is divided into seven bays by the spacing of the brackets. The first bay contains a window which is obscured with plywood. The second and sixth bays contain single-leaf, four-panel doors. The third bay contains a three-sided observation bay which has one window on each of the three bayed sides, all of which are obscured with plywood. The fourth, fifth, and seventh bays have blank wails.

The northerly elevation contains a single bay with one single-leaf, four-panel door and one window which is obscured. The southerly elevation also contains one bay with a central, four-panel, diagonal beaded-board, sliding, freight door.

The easterly elevation is divided into eight bays by the spacing of the brackets. The second and sixth bays contain single-leaf, four panel doors. The windows are filled with wooden, two-over- two, double-hung sash in the sixth, seventh and eighth bays. The first, third, fourth, and fifth bays have blank wails.

The interior is divided into two rooms: the waiting room to the north and the freight room to the south. The wails and ceilings are finished with beaded-board siding and the floor is finished with flush board.

The New Orleans Great Northern Railroad Depot in Monticello retains a great degree of architectural integrity. The only major modification to the depot is the infill and covering of the windows, which has not greatly affected the integrity of the structure. The City of Monticello has received an Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation for the restoration of the depot. The proposed project will rehabilitate the depot in accordance with the US Secretary of the interior's Standards for Rehabilitation with the cooperation of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

The New Orleans Great Northern Railroad Depot in Monticello is locally significant under Criterion A in the area of transportation, representing the development of rail transportation in south- central Mississippi in the early twentieth century. Its period of significance extends from circa 1906, when it was built, to 1945, fifty years prior to the current date. It served as a passenger depot until 1954 and housed freight operations until 1971. The depot in Monticello and the NOGN depot in Jackson (built in 1927) are the last surviving depots on the old NOGN route in Mississippi.

The New Orleans Great Northern Railroad (NOGN) was incorporated in 1905 for the purpose of running a railroad line between Slidell, Louisiana, and Jackson, Mississippi. Construction began in 1905 and was completed in 1909. In December 1929 the NOGN was acquired by the Gulf, Mobile, and Northern Railroad (GM&N), which subsequently consolidated with the Mobile and Ohio Railroad in 1940 to form the Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio Railroad (GM&O). In 1978 the GM&O merged with the Illinois Central Railroad, which currently owns what is left of the former NOGN route.

The founding of Monticello predates the arrival of the railroad by nearly a century. The town was established in 1815 as the seat of Lawrence County in the Mississippi Territory. The community flourished from the 1820s to the 1850s as a shipping point on the Pearl River, but declined after the first railroad in the area was routed through Brookhaven, some twenty miles west, in 1857. Economic vitality began to return to the community following the completion of the Brookhaven and Peajl River Railroad, linking Monticello to the Illinois Central Railroad at Brookhaven, in December 1904. In 1906 t§e New Orleans Great Northern Railroad reached Monticello and constructed the present depot.

The NOGN provided rail service from Monticello to Jackson and New Orleans. After the purchase of the line by the Gulf, Mobile, and Northern Railroad in 1929, the depot in Monticello was served by express passenger service linking New Orleans, Jackson, and St. Louis. The Rebel," one of the first streamlined, high-speed diesel passenger trains in the South, ran on this route beginning in the 1930s. Rail passenger service was provided through this depot until 1954, when the GM&O Railroad ceased passenger operations along this route. In 1971 the GM&O ceased its remaining freight operations in Monticello and closed the depot, it was subsequently sold to a private owner, who donated it to the Town of Monticello in 1983. The town intends to rehabilitate the building to house town offices and^a small museum, using funds from the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA).

1 1llinois Central Railroad Company. Environmental and Historical Report for the proposed abandonment of trackage between Elton and Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi, 1994.

2 Works Progress Administration historical notes for Monticello, 1941.

3 Lynn Lofton, "Local depot named state landmark," The Press (Monticello, Miss), February 13,1986. This information is also restated in essentially the same form in the Town of Monticello Transportation Enhancement Project Application, February 7,1995. The date of 1906 for both the arrival of the railroad and the construction of the depot is given in these sources, but the WPA notes give the date of 1907.



Local Archive of http://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/prop/18008.pdf

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 23, 2013 at 3:02 PM


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