Beautification award

Glenn Matthews and Bob Bopp (left), both Robbins Depot Committee members; Kevin Stewart and Phyllis Lambert, committee co-chairs; KMCB Chair Bob Coates; Cara Maness also a committee member, and Lonnie English, mayor of Robbins.

Keep Moore County Beautiful Chairperson Bob Coates recently presented a beautification award to the town of Robbins for its work on restoring the Robbins Train Depot.

According to Kevin Stewart, co-chairman of the Robbins Depot Committee, as well as a town councilman, Robbins’ town leaders are actively seeking to attract businesses and industrial companies, including rail freight-using industry to revitalize the local economy. Making the Robbins Depot visibly attractive to the community is a first step towards that revitalization effort.

New plantings, as well as cleaning up and repairing the exterior of the depot, have all been the work of the Robbins Depot Committee. The long-term goal of the committee is to make it into a local museum and point of interest, such as a visitor center for Robbins and northern Moore County.

The history of its railroad operation starting in 1891, is especially note-worthy. It connected Gulf, in Chatham County, to Troy in Montgomery County, to Mechanics Hill (now Robbins) in 1899. Railroad construction added many jobs and increased the number of settlers. It also generated commerce by providing a ready means of transportation for turpentine, lumber, agricultural products and passengers.

After several changes in ownership over the years, in 1987, the Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway became the operator of what is today the largest privately held “shortline” regional freight railroad in North Carolina. Today, its transportation products include plastics, poultry, brick, butane, propane, dimensional lumber, etc.

The Robbins Depot Committee has proceeded with the support of generous donations from private donors dating back more than 13 years. “However, volunteers who can donate their time and talent for this community cause are greatly needed,” says a spokesman. “Please contact Robbins Town Hall at (910) 948-2431 for further information.”

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