Hampton Depot History
Hampton was the county’s only rail connection from 1846 until 1882. In the 1880's Hampton experienced a major economic and development boom because it was the only rail connection in Henry County. Cotton warehouses, a hotel, and many elegant homes were constructed as a result, and Hampton became the focal point for the cotton industry in the area.
The present Hampton Depot had its origins in 1873, when the superintendent reported at the annual meeting of the president and directors of the Central Railroad and Banking Company that the depot “at Hampton is entirely too small and insecure, and ought to be replaced by a larger and more substantial one at the earliest day possible.” He also announced that a cotton platform had recently been built next to the old wooden depot (the old wooden depot was later moved to Griffin). In the superintendent’s report of September 1, 1880, it was announced that “a new brick warehouse has been commenced at Hampton on the Atlanta division. The building will be 35 feet wide and 170 feet long, this will give ample room for the transaction of business at that station and will also enable us to provide comfortable reception rooms for passengers.”
The Hampton Depot was completed in 1881. It is significant in architecture and believed to have been designed by Augustus Schwaab, a German immigrant noted for his work in Savannah, Georgia. Architecturally, the depot signifies the extravagance of this era in its all brick, 17" thick walls,construction in the American bond pattern, and ornate brick details, which differ significantly from other depots of the period.
Passenger Rail Service
The Hampton Depot was unusual in that it included a warehouse for cotton in the same building with the passenger area, while most other cities had a separate market for the cotton. In 1940 passenger service for Hampton was four trains per day, although only three stopped, if flagged down. By 1950, it was two per day, one stop and one by flag, and in 1955 it was one by flag, per day, and in 1957 passenger rail service ended in the City of Hampton.
In 1975, the depot was donated to the City of Hampton, which renovated the passenger area for use as a City Hall and Police Department, Council Chambers and Recorder’s Court. The land is still owned by the railroad; the depot is now the “Glenn Mitchell Administration and Community Building.” (Glenn Mitchell was Hampton’s mayor from December 1950 until December 1972, and again, from December 1974 until December 1978.)
This information is from the National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form, dated July 16, 1979. In March 2011, the Colonial Dames of Georgia hosted a formal dedication and plaque installation on the north end of the depot, near the depot park.
The rooms off the park side of the depot, now house the Main Street Director.
The Hampton Depot is the perfect location for weddings, receptions, parties, luncheons, teas, seminars, lectures or meetings, and is available to the community for rental at very reasonable rates. Rental includes the use of the largest rooms, two restrooms, the kitchen and a limited number of tables and chairs. There is an outside covered dock along the rail side of the building, which may be used to expand to the outdoors.