Railroad and Depot
STORY OF THE QUILT SQUARE RAILROAD & DEPOT BY COATS EXTENSION
HOMEMAKERS CLUB FOR HARNETT COUNTY HISTORICAL QUILT, 1989
Railroad & Depot
T. Coats, formerly of Johnston County, bought over 700 acres of land in
Grove Township in Harnett County, and moved to this location in 1875. He
used the land for farming and also opened a general store on his
to his pleasure, in the summer of 1901 surveyors started preliminary
work on the railroad that was to pass through the county. Construction
workers were frequent sights along the railroad in 1902 and 1903. There
was a celebration along the line of the new railroad in the fall of
1903. This was the first completed trip on the new tracks along the
lines of the Durham & Southern.
T. Coats had the railroad right-of-way through his property. He gave a
deed for the land on which the depot now stands, May 23, 1903. The
structure was completed shortly before the completion of the railroad in
1905. The railroad was built to service points between Durham, the
Southern Railroad, Dunn and the Coast Line Railroad.
made by the train between Durham and Dunn, included Erwin, Coats,
Angier, Fuquay and Apex. Erwin Mills was the prime user of the railroad.
the completion of the railroad, mail was brought by the train. Andrew
Coats, son of James T. Coats, was appointed postmaster and depot agent.
Coats served as agent for the Durham & Southern Railroad from 1905
to 1911. Walter E. Nichols became agent following Mr. Coats' tenure.
Adequate records are not available to show how long Mr. Nichols was
employed by the railroad or who was employed as an agent in the late
1923, A. K. Gunter became an agent and served in this capacity until
1942 when his health forced him to retire. Following Mr. Gunter's
employment, Mrs. O. K. (Billie) Keene became the agent for the railroad
and served in this capacity until the late 1950's.
of the train were used less as time went by and sometime during the
early 1960's schedules were reduced to less than daily trips. Rachel
Barnes of Angier served as agent on a part-time basis.
in the early 1980's the railroad stopped all train service through
Coats. The tracks were removed and the roadbed reverted to the original
Currin and Nassie Dorman, local contractors, rented the old depot, to
house their office and store building materials.
Mr. Dorman's death, Mr. Currin assumed control of the company, Currin
& Dorman Construction BG Real Estate, and has remained in the depot
building. Mr. Currin purchased the depot and shortly thereafter
renovated the building.
old depot building is a monument that keeps alive, the memory of days
past, a part of the Town of Coats's history.
by: Elaine Keene
Coats Extension Homemakers Club
Historical Sketch of Coats
Record, November 16, 1988
Square: Row 2, Number 7
and applique: Mary Forrest
Extension Homemakers Club