Newton Depot will host open house on Nov. 16

NEWTON, NC (Nov. 6, 2013) - The general public is invited to drop in at the Historic Newton Depot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16 to view the progress at the Southeastern Narrow Gauge & Shortline Museum being developed by the Newton Depot Authority.

“The open air pavilion that will protect our carefully restored, historic railroad cars is well on its way to completion,” said D. Joe Long, Chair of the non profit Newton Depot Authority board of directors.  “The pavilion complements the exhibits at the historic 1924 depot with examples of narrow gauge railroad cars and standard gauge engines and rolling stock,” Long continued.

On an hourly basis during the open house, there will be a short slide show inside the Depot showing the Museum’s master plan and the vision for the redevelopment of the surrounding North Newton commercial area that once was a thriving retail area. Visitors may also see the newly acquired annex building that is presently being refurbished beside the Depot.

The Southeastern Narrow Gauge & Shortline Museum will celebrate the unique railway heritage of Catawba County whose industrial economy grew up on and depended upon narrow gauge and shortline railways.  The shorter distance between the two rails as compared to standard gauge railways defines narrow gauge railroads.  “Narrow gauge construction was less capital intensive, an important fact in the post Civil War era when the first railroads came to Catawba County,” explained Sidney Halma, former Director of the Catawba County Museum of History and a current board member for Newton Depot Authority.

The Southeastern Narrow Gauge & Shortline Museum is slated to open in Fall 2014.

“This open house is for the whole family and the whole community,” said Long. “If you are curious and wonder what this project is all about, this is a perfect chance to learn.  Kids will enjoy seeing our model trains that will be running.”

Live bluegrass music and refreshments are part of this free event.