Rural Retreat: the continuing saga...

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Tue Jun 28 10:31:41 EDT 2011

Old train depot in Rural Retreat could be taken apart

Jack Weaver's efforts to receive federal backing to restore the old Rural Retreat train depot have failed so far.

By Ken Heineck
Published: June 27, 2011


It is a building with a lengthy history, but an old train depot in Rural Retreat is recently known more for simply sitting around. Jack Weaver owns the property, along with elaborate plans to move it to his 120-acre farm and start an herbal winery.

“It's not something that is being done in the United States, and we have an interesting product, and an interesting story,” said Weaver.

He has already paid to move the depot, but his efforts over the past eight months to secure a federal mortgage loan guarantee to finance a large portion of the project have failed. United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency tells WSLS they will not guarantee the loan because weaver would be disturbing an historic site.

While the Virginia Department of Historic Resources says the depot is eligible to be placed on the national register of historic sites, it is not listed on the register.

Weaver produced letters and emails he has written to the governor's office, and the VDHR, letters he says remain unanswered.

He says if he does not get a response from elected officials by the end of this week, he plans on dismantling the depot, and taking his small business venture, as he has done before, over to China.

“It'll be moved to our farm, and we'll just use it for hay storage facility or something like that which basically will not be a restoration job, two, it'll be disassembled and sent to north carolina, or 3, it will just fall over on itself,” said Weaver

It would be a demolition of sorts of an eyesore, the town and many people living here do not want to see.


As of: June 28, 2011

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