If all goes well, the latest addition to Century Village is on track to open to the public later this year.

The circa-1884 train depot was moved from the intersection of Park and Front streets Jan. 23 so it could join the collection of vintage buildings at Century Village on Orders Road.

Grove City and the Southwest Franklin County Historical Society are planning a project to restore the depot.

"We're looking to get it back as close as possible to how it looked when it was a working train station," said Don Walters, the city's director of business and community relations.

The restored train station will be a way educate people, especially children, about a bygone era when people regularly traveled by train, said Steve Jackson, historical society president.

"It's going to be a really fun exhibit at the village," said John Hines, vice president and events committee chairman for the historical society.

"This will be something that will appeal to kids and to people who are kids at heart," he said.

Hines is coordinating a volunteer crew that will complete the restoration.

The station will be installed on the east end of Century Village.

Passenger trains stopped at the depot for 72 years, taking riders to Columbus, Cincinnati and all the way to St. Louis, Jackson said.

At its peak use, the train depot welcomed eight passenger trains heading south and eight heading north each day, he said.

The last passenger train left the depot on July 20, 1956. Freight service ended in 1972.

"After that, the JayCees met in the building for a number of years and the historical society also held meetings there," Jackson said.

For the last two decades, "it's essentially been empty, although there was some storage there," he said.

The effort to find a new location and restore the depot began about three decades ago, Jackson said.

"The building's in pretty good shape, given how long it's been vacant," Hines said.

Prior to its being moved to Century Village, the roof was removed, he said, and a new roof will be installed.

The interior of the building will be restored to resemble a working depot, Hines said.

Darryl Cooper, who served as the last station master, has been in contact with the city and historical society.

"He walked the train station with some of us and provided some good details on what the design was and where the two telegraph units were positioned inside," Walters said.

The restoration plan includes placing a working telegraph in the depot building and one in another building at Century Village, Hines said.

"People will be able to send a message by telegraph from the depot to the other building," he said. "I think kids will really get a kick out of that."

A model train will be installed in the depot, Hines said, and a pot-bellied stove and cook stove will be inside the building, just as they were when it was a working train station.

Some of the original artifacts from the depot were donated years ago for display at the James F. Dicke Family Transportation Center at Carillon Historical Park in Dayton.

"We'll be heading down there for a visit to view the Grove City pieces so we can look for items that replicate them and put them in our depot," Hines said.

Depending on weather and other factors, the depot could be ready for a ribbon-cutting ceremony during the Old-Time Harvest Day event held in October at Century Village, he said.

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