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Salem's John Hay Center's Deport Railroad Museum Celebrates Opening Saturday

Last updated on Friday, July 19, 2013

(SALEM) - The John Hay Center’s Deport Railroad museum will celebrate their opening Saturday will a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The event will take place at 11 a.m. at The Depot, 206 South College Avenue.

The Leader Democrat reports a 3,000 square foot addition to The Depot is now competed, providing the museum with a large meeting and display room on the main floor. Also, a 1,500 square foot room on the basement level is now world headquarters and archives of the Monon Railroad Historical Technical Society.

Following the ribbon cutting, the new areas will be open for viewing. However, because the Monon Society is having a board meeting that day, the Monon archives will only be open until about 12:30 p.m.

Cecil J. Smith, the volunteer stationmaster, says in honor of Salem being the birthplace in 1847 of the New Albany & Salem Rail Road, which later became the Monon Railroad, the new meeting and display room will be known as the "Monon Room."

Also, Smith noted that sharing the building with the Monon Railroad Historical Society is an added asset for the museum and provides the Monon group with an excellent facility for the storage and research of its archives.

Prior to moving to Salem, the Monon Society was headquartered at Linden, north of Crawfordsville. Termination of the Society's lease with the Linden-Madison Township Historical Society resulted in the need to move.

The Depot's addition was built with a generous grant from the Paul Ogle Foundation at Jeffersonvillle, plus more than $60,000 from Monon Society and Washington County Historical Society members and individuals and businesses in the area.

The Depot, a replica of the Monon Railroad station that served Salem for many years, was constructed in 1999 and 2000 by high school students from Salem and Eastern high schools. They were members of a building trades class at Prosser School of Technology at New Albany. Their instructor was Ron Zimmer of Salem.

The general contractor on the addition, which is attached to the original building, was Ray Walker Construction Associates of Paoli. John Hawkins of the firm of Kovert Hawkins in Jeffersonville, served as the architect. Depot volunteer John Campbell of Louisville, a retired building contractor, was project manager.

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