Chesapeake and Ohio Passenger Depot (Pikeville, KY)
The Chesapeake and Ohio Passenger Depot was constructed in 1923 along Hambley Boulevard in Pikeville, Kentucky. The depot was built by the Chesapeake Ohio Railway company following their successful expansion into Pikeville beginning in 1907. The depot soon became an integral part of the town for many years before finally closing in 1983. Following the termination of the railway, the depot has since served as a town hall, a local history museum, and a cafe.
Backstory and Context
The depot, designed by the company, is a one - story brick building, built in the Classical Revival architectural style, and was accompanied by an adjacent baggage shed placed around fifty yards away from the side of the depot. The depot and its baggage shed was placed along Hambley Boulevard as a result of its proximity to the station as well as the boulevard's status as a central point in Pikeville, leading to the depot becoming a focal point of the city. The depot became so ingrained in Pikeville's every day life, in fact, that numerous weddings reportedly took place there during the 1920s and 1930s. The depot remained opened and served the Pikeville community until 1983, when the rail service was terminated. Following this termination, the tracks were removed and the old route was bypassed. Following its closure, the depot was nominated to the National Register of Historical Places, eventually being recognized in 1985.
Since the termination of the rail service in the early 1980s, the depot has been the site of several other businesses and locales, including, initially, acting as a temporary town hall for Pikeville until 1990. The most significant use of the depot following its temporary stint as town hall was its hosting of the Big Sandy Heritage Museum for several years until the museum's relocation in 2015. The Heritage Museum included artifacts and objects concerned with the history not only of Pikeville, but the Big Sandy Valley and Appalachia as a whole, including farming tools, furniture, and clothing. Most recently, the depot served as the host of The Roasted Cafe, which was in business from 2015 to 2017.