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Robbins Train Depot

The Robbins Depot is in the process of being restored by the Robbins Depot Committee with the support of generous donations from... private donors.


The immediate goal was to clean up and repair the exterior of the depot to make it visibly attractive to the community. Now that phase is complete we are starting on the interior. Thanks to fundraising dating back to the 1990's, funds were available to get a head start immediately, just need volunteers to donate time and talent.

Long term goal is to make a historical point of interest for Robbins.

Recently we had a caboose donated and will be receiving it soon to complement the depot.

The Mayor, Manager and Commissioners are actively seeking to attract businesses and industrial companies, including rail freight using industry to revitalize the local economy.

In 1891, the Durham and Charlotte Railroad connected Gulf, in Chatham County, to Troy, in Montgomery County. The railroad reached Mechanics Hill around 1899. Railroad construction added many jobs and greatly increased the number of settlers. The railroad not only created its own jobs, it generated commerce by providing a ready means of transportation for turpentine, lumber, agricultural products, US Mail and passengers.

John B. Lennig was President and owner of the company. Mr. Lennig was here, off and on, for about 12 years. During that time, town lots and streets were designed. A map was registered at the Moore County Register of Deeds Office on March 24, 1900 and the Town was named Elise, in honor of Lennigs daughter. When the post office was set up in the depot, the postal service refused the name Elise citing the similarity to other locations in North Carolina. One story of why the name Hemp was given to the post office is there was a group of men sitting around the gold region post office at Carter's Mill were discussing a name for the new post office. Many names were suggested. A man sitting on a bale of hemp rope looked down and said, "Why not call it Hemp?" For quite some time, the depot which housed the town post office had two signs: one proclaiming the name of the train stop as Elise and the other proclaiming the name of the town post office as Hemp.

In November 1911, the original Norfolk Southern (#1) Railroad formed the Raleigh, Charlotte & Southern Railway as a consolidation of several smaller companies, included the Durham and Charlotte Railway.

Later on the passenger service stopped and freight became cross ties, pyrophyllite (locally known as talc), wooden poultry crates, fertilizer, cotton and general goods.

In 1974, the Southern Railway acquired the line, and by then, grain and feed for poultry had become a major commodity.

In 1980, the Southern Railway merged with Norfolk and Western Railway to form the new Norfolk Southern Railway(#2) in 1982.

In 1989, the Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway leased and operated Norfolk Southern's Charlotte-Star-Gulf line, 104 miles. Total miles operated is 104 making it the largest shortline in the Carolinas. 

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