Efforts are underway to save the oldest surviving train station in North Carolina, which happens to be right here in Johnston County.
The Mitchener Station was built in 1855, eighteen years before the Town of Selma was chartered in 1873. It is believed by railroad historians to be the oldest surviving train station in our state. Confederate troopers occupied the depot during the Civil War until Union soldiers surrounded the building causing the Confederate soldiers to eventually flee.
On April 6th, 1865, historical records indicate North Carolina Governor Zebulon Vance gave a “stirring speech” to Confederate soldiers at the Mitchener Depot.
About six years ago, the North Carolina Railroad (NCRR) notified the Town of Selma they wanted to clear their right of way property. And the depot is within the NCRR right of way.
“Because of its historic background, we would like to keep the depot,” Mayor Cheryl Oliver told WTSB News on Monday. “There has even been talk of putting a stage on it so that we could use it as an outdoor venue for concerts, etc. With this in mind, it is estimated that we would need approximately an acre for the depot and entertainment area.”
The railroad has offered the Town $10,000 to relocate the depot. Oliver is not sure how much longer that offer will stand.
Town officials are asking anyone who may have at least one acre of land or more in Selma they are willing to donate or sell to contact Town Manager Jon Barlow at 919-965-2297, Extension 1002.