The town of Georgetown, Delaware, located in the southern part of the state, is the county seat of Sussex County. It is not a very popular town to tourists being far from any major route. U.S. 9 is the only U.S. Route running through town, and U.S. 113 runs west of the town far from any interstate and from major routes like U.S. 13 and 50. Its main attraction is the county courthouse, but it also has two other attractions. One is the original firehouse. The other is the old train station.
In the 1860’s, a rail line was built to Georgetown which would continue to the coastal resort town of Lewes, but the passenger depot was built north of the town. It was not until the year 1892 that the present passenger depot was built. The railroad brought prosperity to the town. However, as with situations across the nation, passenger service went in decline, and passenger service ceased in 1949. It was then used as offices for the railroad until 1972. From then on, it was just an abandoned passenger depot.
Thanks to the volunteers of the Historic Georgetown Association, the passenger depot was not demolished, but it was restored to its original condition from the days of passenger service, the restoration was done by salvaging most of the original materials. Although it was not being used as a passenger depot, it had new life. Sadly, a fire in May 2011 destroyed the depot… but the great volunteers of the Historic Georgetown Association stepped in again, and it was fully restored in 2014.
Now some of you are saying, “Yeah. I have seen so many of these old train stations in these small out of the way towns that are just old train depots. Although some were made into visitor centers or offices. This place is probably just like those other small-town train depots.”
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the old train station in Georgetown, Delaware. It is not the town visitor center or offices, but it is the restored depot.
Some of you are saying, “That is great, but you probably cannot go inside.”
Although the depot has a fence around it, the Historic Georgetown Association does hold open houses at certain times of the year. During the open houses you can see the old ticket office and waiting rooms, and they even have a model train. The open houses are posted on the website.
The old train station in Georgetown, Delaware in located at 105 Spicer Street. It is just one block north of U.S. 9. When the depot is not open, you can look at the depot. If you are fortunate enough, you can possibly see a passing freight train. Parking is street parking. You can go to http://georgetowntrainstation.org/ to get information on the open houses and to read deeper into the history of the depot and the many efforts it took to keep the depot open, and you can read of the other sites that the Historic Georgetown Association is keeping restored as well.
Welcome to the town of Georgetown, Delaware, an out of the way town that it truly worth going out of the way for.