The Ashford Heritage Foundation
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The Ashford Heritage Foundation


When CSX Railroad closed the Ashford Depot (which was built in the 1890’s) in 1982, they locked the doors and left behind all the office and depot equipment. Included were teletype machines, original telephones, employment records registers, seating benches in the waiting areas used by customers and many other artifacts. The Depot was purchased by C.O. Adams Jr. and donated to the City of Ashford. In 1894, Mayor Roy Hobbs appointed the Depot Committee, chaired by Tommy Rob Henderson, the last depot agent to serve in Ashford. Members included Coach W. H. Brown, Onzelle Bruner, Blanche Dykes, Frankie Ingram, Joann Lamp, Josephine McArthur, Mac McArthur, Leslie Penniman, Margaret Rhyne, Tom Shirley, and Jean Wells. In September of 1985, the Committee was successful in getting the Depot placed on the National Register of Historic Places through the assistance of the Alabama Historical Committee.

In April 2001, Mayor Brian Alloway appointed a second Depot Committee and charged them to come up with a plan and then seek funds to restore the Depot. The Committee was chaired by Jimmy Burgess and members included Becky Alloway, Jimmy Clemmons, Mark Fellows, Roane Lawler, June Layton, Fran McArthur, Linda Turvin, Lori Watkins, and Ronnie Whitehead. Chairman Burgess worked with a grant writer and with the assistance of the City, the committee secured 5 grants which paid for the Depot restoration. The Open House and Dedication of the renovated Depot took place on November 17, 2005. The committee continued working on creating a Museum inside the Depot and it was completed and dedicated, in honor of Tommy Rob Henderson, on September 17, 2009. The Henderson family, along with many other Ashford residents, donated numerous items to the Museum. The caboose was renovated later by an additional grant.


The Foundation began an annual commemorative Ashford Christmas Ornament series in 2002 and there are now 17 ornaments in the collection, including buildings, businesses, homes, schools, and churches in the Ashford Area. This is the largest fund-raiser for the Foundation and helps to maintain and expand the Museum collection and assist the City with maintainiing of the Depot.


The Depot is regularly used as a meeting site for Ashford City Council, Ashford Municipal Court, and other City committees, and as a regular voting site for Ashford. It is rented throughout the year for weddings, birthday parties, school and family reunions. The Foundation opens the Depot, Museum and the restored RR Caboose for the Fall Harvest Day, Christmas at the Depot, school field trips and other community functions. The Foundation is federally approved 501(c)(3) category. Anyone interested in joining the Foundation and assisting with “PRESERVING THE PAST FOR OUR FUTURE ASHFORD GENERATIONS” may contact Fran McArthur, Secretary/Treasurer at P.O. Box 25, Ashford, AL 36312 or 334-899-3679.