While we’ve had segments sharing the history of the railcars here at the L&N Depot, one of the little known stories is about the waiting room inside the museum. As another tribute to Black History Month, we take a look at the history of railroad travel.
The Railpark offers daily tours of the museum and railcars. Every day guests begin their tour right here in the waiting room. What you may not realize is that this area was once considered the “Colored Only” waiting room. Up until the mid-20th century and the progress made by the Civil Rights Movement, African Americans were separated from white travelers on the railroad.
The Railpark uses the former colored-only waiting room as an educational opportunity to start its tours with a more realistic perspective, like having tourists notice the size of the benches and location of the room compared to the large lobby and gathering area in the heart of the depot.
The depot also showcases the history of segregation and American railroad travel in one of its first floor exhibits, and is currently restoring a Jim Crowe segregation car to add to the tour. Winter hours are Tuesday thru Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.