In a local auction, longtime Garrettsville resident, Dave Wensel purchased the former New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio, and later Erie Railroad Depot. The building, believed to be constructed before 1870, is 2100 square feet in size, and served as the railroad’s freight depot. Dave recruited family, friends and local craftsmen to help him disassemble the building in hopes of reconstructing it to its original form.
Depot in 1980 at original site in Garrettsville
In 2014 a devastating fire destroyed much of Garrettsville's historic downtown. Over the past few years, the community has banded together to help restore the charming town. Amidst the revival of the downtown area, Dave has become increasingly motivated to rebuild The Depot within the village of Garrettsville, returning a unique piece of history to the vicinity of its original home.
A team has been assembled to assist in The Depot’s resurrection. Beginning in the fall of 2018 the project has reached Phase 1 as Dave is working towards securing the property that will house The Depot. In addition to his personal financial contributions, crowdfunded donations will help finance this project and assist with the construction costs.
Daughter, Avonlea helps disassemble building
Once reconstructed, the vision for The Depot is a retail co-op for antique dealers, artists, craftsmen and upcyclers to sell their work and merchandise. Other ideas include a historical museum or leasable event space. Dave has always envisioned using the building as a business which can be enjoyed by the public and benefits the community that he grew up in. He looks forward to giving back to the his Garrettsville community through The Depot’s resurrection and designating portions of associated future earnings to the reconstruction and preservation of other historic Garrettsville structures.
During this journey, Dave has had the pleasure of meeting many local people that have shared their stories and memories of The Depot – from recalling family members riding the train to Cleveland to relatives that made their living working at the railroad site. He hopes that others will share their stories about this historic landmark along the way. This unique building is a captivating piece of history that will surely be a welcomed addition to the charming town of Garrettsville.