The Derry, N.H. Station to be Restored for Municipal Use

News from the Eagle Tribune.

DERRY -- A 151-year-old train depot will be transformed into a visitor's center as part of the town's effort to revitalize its
downtown. The center will become the new home of the Greater Derry Chamber of Commerce, and possibly a museum that will showcase products made by businesses in the community. ''It's an important part of the whole revitalization effort,'' Town Administrator Carol M. Granfield said. The town has agreed to pay $188,000 for the building, and thenagreement could be finalized fairly soon, Mrs. Granfield said. The day-care business using the building would have until next September to move out, she said.

Town officials and others working on plans to rejuvenate the downtown want to showcase the former depot because of its rich history and central location. They view the building as a key part of the planned makeover of the downtown, which will include new sidewalks and replace utility poles with trees and decorative street lamps…. Bringing the building back to its original state is included in the plan, and money has been set aside for some of the work. The money to buy the building was approved by Town Council last year.

The renovation work for the building is likely to include ideas from two Pinkerton Academy students. As part of a special school project students Caitlin A. White and Joshua A. Shreve spent almost an entire school year studying the aging building and developing plans to restore it.

The train depot was built by the Boston & Maine Railroad Co. in 1848 and 1849 to connect Manchester and Lawrence, Mass., through Derry. In 1856, Harvey P. Hood, of Derry, founder of the Hood Milk Co., began shipping milk to Boston via the railway. In addition, Abraham Lincoln rode the B&M train through Derry more than once in 1860. In 1882, the depot was struck by fire. It was rebuilt and reopened in 1885.