Hamlet Depot & Museums to offer guided tours

First Posted: 8/22/2013

For those who want to learn more about Hamlet’s railroad history, you may want to take the guided tour of the Seaboard Trail that is being offered every second Saturday starting next month.

The tour is approximately one mile long and will begin at the Hamlet Visitors Center at the Hamlet Depot & Museums located on Main Street. Those who participate in the tour will get a chance to not only learn about Hamlet’s railroad history, but they will also learn about the history of the businesses that are located there.

“During the Second Saturday of each month from now to December, travel back in time during Hamlet’s heyday as Hub of the Seaboard,” said Miranda Chavis, manager of Hamlet Depot & Museums. “Walk with museum staff down the streets of Hamlet’s historic downtown; see local landmarks that were shaped by the town’s rich railroad legacy. Everyone is welcome.”

Chavis stated that there are a variety of reasons why the tour is being offered.

“Firstly, it’s a great way for our community members and visitors alike to recognize the historical significance of Hamlet’s downtown,” said Chavis. “Participants are literally unraveling history one step at a time, even as it turns Hamlet into a town-wide museum.”

“Additionally, the guided tour will introduce a fun event to the community even as it supports a wonderful institution. Sometimes, people see history as boring but with a guide that knows the stories and significance, history comes alive. Hopefully, the Seaboard Trail Guided Tour … will do all three even as it brings awareness to this new community treasure,” she said.

Chavis also believes that the Seaboard Guided Trail Tour would be beneficial for Richmond County residents, not just visitors.

“So many people are unaware of our importance: then and now,” said Chavis. “Citizens may drive by the Hamlet Public Library everyday, but I bet they don’t know that the library started with a collection of books donated by the railroad. Citizens may become frustrated by every train they have to stop for, but I bet they don’t realize that the CSX Hamlet Terminal is an integral part of the railroad industry in the United States. There’s so much to be proud of, and hopefully, people will learn some of that history,” said Chavis.

The tour will be free to museum members, while others will be asked to give a $3 donation to the Hamlet Depot & Museums.

The guided tours will take place on Sept. 14, Oct. 12, Nov. 9 and Dec. 14 beginning at 1 p.m. Individuals who would like to take the tour on their own, are invited to do so.

For more information regarding the tour call 910-582-0603.

— Staff Writer Iris Hunter can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at ihunter@civitasmedia.com.