Newton Depot Authority receives gift of land

Special To The ONE
Staff Writer

The Newton Depot Authority (Southeastern Narrow Gauge and Short Line Museum) is the recipient of a significant gift from Robinson Builders-Mart of Newton. The announcement was made jointly by D. Joe Long, Chairman of the Board of the Authority, and Mrs. Debbie Robinson and Mrs. Pam Robinson McGuire, daughters of the late C. Leon Robinson, owners of Robinson Builders-Mart.

The gift consists of valuable building lots located both in Catawba and Caldwell counties. These lots, when liquidated for cash, will be used for continuing activities at the museum, such as constructing the new plaza area, now underway, extension of the existing rail yard northward to Thirteenth Street, moving costs of very heavy rail cars, and similar activities, it was noted by Thomas W. Warlick, Vice-Chairman of the Authority Board.

Jimmy Abernethy, lead director for the Authority in regard to construction activities, expressed his excitement and gratitude to the daughters of Mr. Robinson for the gift.

Mrs. Debbie Robinson recalled that her father had been an early supporter of the restoration of the Newton Depot and had often sold the lumber and other building materials to the Authority at a discount. Mr. Warlick recalled a conversation with Mr. Robinson many years ago in which he lamented that the city no longer had a “team track” which was a dedicated siding from which loads of heavy building materials were unloaded for delivery to various businesses. Elimination of this track by the railroad meant that all such heavy deliveries, except to industries which had a dedicated sidetrack, were required to be made by a motor carrier.

The Southeastern Narrow Gauge and Short Line Museum is jointly operated by the Newton Depot Authority and the Alexander Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society and is open regularly each Friday from Noon to 5:00 and each Saturday from 10:00 until 5:00. It is free and open to the public. In addition, many areas and rooms at the museum are available for rental to the general public for weddings, receptions, baby showers, family reunions, birthday parties, business meetings, and the like.

Mr. Jerome W. Bolick, Treasurer of the Newton Depot Authority, added that similar gifts of in-kind property were welcomed by the Authority, along with gifts of cash or securities. The Newton Depot Authority is a 501(c)(3) organization as determined by the Internal Revenue Service, meaning that all such gifts to the Authority are deductible as charitable contributions as provided by IRS regulations.