Conover Railroad Station (circa 1950s)
This Special Edition print commemorates the magic and aura of train travel and evokes that early era. Built in the early years of the 20th Century, the old Conover depot for many years bustled with activity. This print gives mute evidence to the "passing parade" of majestic steam trains of the times, both passenger and freight service. A time when trains' numbers were household words and each with her own romantic history, such as Number 11, the west-bound "noon" train. And Number 15, the early morning west-bound service. Each of these trains brought new comfort and elegance of travel to our very doorstep. Conover was served by the Southern Railway with eight passenger trains and multiple freight trains daily and two combined service trains Number 1 and 2 of the Carolina and Northwestern Railroad.
The north-bound Southern Number 16 could flag stop Conover at 6:25 each evening and one would arrive in New York City refreshed after an evening of unrivaled amenities. Bold herald names like the Skyland, Southerner, Carolinian, Asheville Special and Crescent all gave Conover the link to great cities, their people and the natural beauty of America.
In the mid 1970's, Conover residents arose one morning to discover the old train station had mysteriously disappeared during the night-time hours. The Conover city manager at the time, Ed Robinett, was accused by some citizens of having something to do with the missing relic of Conover's vanishing heritage.
After further study within the history of the town, it was discovered that Mr. Robinette had nothing to do with the "missing station". Some weeks prior to its removal, Norfolk Southern Railroad officials had issued a notice that all inactive stations would be removed from the right-of-way, along the railroad routes from Asheville to Salisbury, and Conover was inclusive. The city officials made no arrangements to purchase and move the station structure.
A few weeks later, during the night, a work train from Norfolk Southern RR made its way down the track route and dismantled the building and simply hauled it away and a part of Conover history was gone forever.
Elmer McRee (c) 2002
(Text (c) Don Barker 2002, from a commemorative
poster dated 1987--postcards available from him)
Frank Spencer at Conover Station with Southern RR, #1847
Photo by Marshall Cline, 1947
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