Piedmont and Western Railroad Club


A North Carolina Railroad Station in


Former Atlantic Coast Line, ex. Wilmington & Weldon, Station. Built in 1850; modified in 1898 and 1917. Now serves as a community center. Rail line is CSX. The original structure today is a three-bay warehouse, 90 ft. by 21 ft. It was expanded to the south by a passenger and station master's annex (71 ft. by 33 ft.), and to the north by a loading dock, 128 ft. by 37 ft. In all, the entire depot now streaches nearly 300 yards, the length of a football field.

The Burgaw Depot was a communications headquarters for the Confederate States of America after the fall of Wilmington, NC in 1865. A November 29, 2008 report by Chris Mudarri, a Correspondent for the Wilmington Star-News, stated that one month after the fall of Fort Fisher in January 1865, the Union Army captured Wilmington. At that time, there were thousands of Union prisoners of war being held in Confederate prison camps in Florence, SC. As Sherman advanced through South Carolina, the Confederates began to transport prisoners to Salisbury, NC. However, with Wilmington falling and being evacuated, the trains were needed. The prisoners were ordered taken to Burgaw where they were unloaded, and the trains were sent back to Wilmington. Then at the end of February and early March 1865, an exchange of prisoners was arranged at the Burgaw depot. The Confederates released about 1400 prisoners a day and by March 4, nearly 9000 prisoners were exchanged at Burgaw.

The loading dock

The passenger & station master's annex

Burgaw depot in the snow, February 2010

Burgaw depot before being converted into a community center

The next photograph was taken after the depot was renovated in 1898, likely to improve the station master's work area and waiting room shown in the foreground. No photos are known of the original 1850 appearance. The windows were removed and the area converted to a warehouse when new waiting rooms and station master's work areas were added in 1916/1917.

Photo courtesy of the Pender County Public Library.

The next photo was taken after the 1898 renovation, the 1916/17 expansion removed the windows and doors on the right and replaced them with board and batten. The third sliding warehouse door was then installed as it appears today.

Photo courtesy of the Pender County Public Library. The photo was donated by Catherine Haynes Moore.

The Piedmont & Western Railroad Club thanks Norman D. Graham and John D. Jones for the use of their photographs and Norman Graham who provided the history of the Burgaw depot. A. B. Reeves, Jr. was Agent and Norman Graham was the Clerk-Telegrapher at the Burgaw depot from 1943 until 1954 except for two years during World War II when Norman was serving in the US Navy. Click here for a photo sequence of scenes at Burgaw when A. B. Reeves and Norman Graham worked there.

©2007-2010 Piedmont and Western Railroad Club