Atlantic Coastline Passenger Station (Wiregrass Transit Authority)
The Dothan Atlantic Coastline Railroad Passenger Depot as it appeared in June 1993
Backstory and Context
When the Atlantic Coastline Passenger Station was constructed in 1907 by the Atlantic Coastline Railroad, Dothan had already undergone a massive population increase. The railroad had already been in Dothan since 1889, causing a boom in economic and social activity in Dothan. Before this depot was constructed there was previously a smaller freight and passenger station that serviced Dothan and helped it see a massive increase from 247 residents in 1890 to 3,275 residents in 1900. With the increase in population and demand for railway access, the Atlantic Coastline Railroad constructed this passenger station, connecting the town to Montgomery Alabama, Tallahassee Florida, and Thomasville Georgia. Thanks to the established station in Dothan, the city became the central economic hub of the Wiregrass region, making it the largest city between Montgomery and Tallahassee with a population of 7,106 by 1910.
During the 1960s the waiting rooms within the depot were rearranged to comply with Segregation. Previously there were two waiting rooms, one for whites and one for Blacks. After complying with Segregation, the white waiting room on the east end of the building became the common waiting room, while the Black waiting room on the western end became a freight room.
The depot continued to see passenger use until 1979 when the final train departed Dothan and the station was closed to passenger traffic. The Atlantic Coastline Railroad continued to use the building as an office until the building closed in 1985. Eventually, in 1989, the building was purchased by the City of Dothan to prevent its destruction. On December 13th, 1993 the depot was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2007 the building was renovated by the Wiregrass Transit Authority to serve as its new headquarters. In 2008 a historical marker was placed near the building by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, Dothan Landmarks Foundation, and the Wiregrass Transit Authority.
Dollar, John M. . Atlantic Coastline Railroad Passenger Depot, National Register of Historic Places. December 13th 1993. Accessed November 23rd 2020. https://catalog.archives.gov/id/77836220.
Hilton, Mark. Atlantic Coastline Passenger Station, Historical Marker Database. May 2nd 2014. Accessed November 23rd 2020. https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=73357.
Image sourced from: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/77836220