Wiggins Moves Historic Depot

With the railroad crossing in the foreground an aging train depot that's been a fixture in downtown Wiggins since 1906 rolled down the street.

"I'm glad to see it finally take place," Wiggins resident Peyton Robertson said. "This is a day we've been looking for for a long time."

It was a happy, but nerve wracking day as the historic building was sawed in half and carried by truck to its new home.

"We're just tickled to death that we're finally, after four years, got to see it go down the road and all the concerns about it falling apart and having trouble, it went away a while ago, so very much relieved," Wiggins Mayor Russell Hatten said.

The old train depot had gotten run down, it hadn't been used in years, and the railroad company was getting ready to tear it down. That's when a group of concerned Wiggins residents decided to step in. The railroad company agreed to give the building to the city for free if they moved it off the property.

"They formed a committee and started looking for grants," Mayor Hatten said. "They eventually secured a transportation enhancement grant, secured matching money for that grand and today this move is a result of four years of hard work."

The committee raised $270,000 to match the grant from the Department of Transportation. Now, members say they'll be able to save a piece of Wiggins' history.

"This, the way I understand it, is the last depot from the old Gulf and Ship Island railroad, and I think it's symbolic that the city of Wiggins has chosen to maintain and preserve this structure," Robertson said.

Once it's been renovated, the depot will be transformed into an office for economic development and tourism.