Bleckley County Board of Education
United States of America

Why is this shabby little building by the Primary School important to our community? In short, were it not for this building, there would not be a City of Cochran or a Bleckley County. This depot was constructed by the Macon and Brunswick Railroad, which its president, A.E. Cochran, pushed to Dykes Mills in 1863.

The sawmill was constructed to take advantage of the Pulaski pine forest--vast virgin timber that started right here and stretched to the coast. In 1863, timber was a vital commodity for the Confederate war effort---important enough that A.E. Cochran's tiny enterprise was able to secure 38 miles of iron rail to reach the timber stand. Dykes Mills later morphed to Dykesboro--and eventually Cochran--but before the railroad arrived, the area was sparsely settled. The railroad brought not only a modern transportation link to connect timber, turpentine, cotton, and farm commodities to larger markets, but brought the telegraph to town--in its day, the internet, radio, and TV all rolled into one.

Where did the news of the fall of Atlanta, end of the war and Lincoln's assassination arrive in town?----Right in this little building. Without the railroad, there would not be a town here---and this tired structure is the last standing remnant of that wartime enterprise that opened up this region to commerce---and is the only building that our town's namesake actually entered--the terminus of his railroad. A.E. Cochran passed away in 1865, not living to see his railroad reach Hawkinsville in 1866 or finally, Brunswick in 1871. In his day, the line ended here, where his 38 miles of scrounged iron finally reached what has grown into our modern community.

Our little railroad also kept the city of Macon from starvation in 1865, as A.E. Cochran wrote, "...The entire products of the Valley of the Acmulgen from here (Macon) to its mouth are now supplied over this line and we venture to assert that no road of its length in this country has transported more Government Stores and stock than this. The city of Macon and its poor, and its whole people must suffer terribly if they are deprived of this source of supply".

This depot is the last standing link to this man and our town.

We, the undersigned, call for the City of Cochran as well as the Bleckley County Board of Education to halt all attempts to tear down the old train depot and allow the community, with the support of the Art Alliance, to raise the funds required to move and stabilize the building.

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The Save the 1863 Cochran Train Depot petition to Bleckley County Board of Education was written by Save the Cochran Depot and is in the category Culture at GoPetition.