The Railroad museum opened its doors with a grand ceremony in May 2007. The building is a replica of the original Norfolk Southern depot and is used to showcase artifacts from the beginnings of the railroad to the present. Designed to honor and properly acknowledge the role in history of those people of the area who were instrumental in building the line, the museum houses the original western Union telegraph key, desk, chairs, and adding machine among other artifacts. Also on display are items relating to the history of local workers. Other artifacts such as a small replica of Thomas the Tank Engine appeal to children of all ages. Model railroad cars and accessories are also on display. Jacks used for track maintenance, laters, maps, and baggage carts share space with the original depot benches.
The railroad came to Oakboro in 1913 and was responsible for the growth and development of the town. What better way to recognize this point in history than to have a museum dedicated to its preservation. The museum was a joint project of the Town of Oakboro and the Oakboro Regional Historic Foundation and was funded through the NC Department of Transportation Enhancement Funds. An obelisk is placed on the front lawn to recognize the contributions of those responsible for completion of the project.
The museum campus is located next to tracks operated by the Aberdeen Carolina and Western Railroad and is enhanced by lighting and benches provided by funds donated in memory or honor of a loved one. Brick pavers purchased for the same reason line the sidewalks.
Also on site is a kiosk for displaying local information appropriate to bicycle riders, walkers, and others. A large covered platform is situated beside the tracks and can be used for seating or for outdoor performances. The area is beautifully landscaped and leads to a walking trail that joins the southern end of the property leading to the Oakboro District Park.
A Norfolk Southern caboose is permanently situated on tracks at the railroad museum. This symbolic railroad car helps bring attention to the history of the facility and provides an attraction for visitors.
The mission of the Oakboro Railroad Museum is to preserve the history of the railroad and its impact on the early development and growth of the Town of Oakboro and the surrounding region. Our goal is to construct and maintain appropriate facilities for the display of photographs, documents, and other artifacts. We will provide in historical environment a family- oriented, educational experience for area citizens as well as for the traveling public.
For personalized Guided Tours with Groups of 8 or more call 704-485-8795 or 704-485-4568