One thing Hiram resident Thomas Leggett remembers about his childhood are the trains that pulled into town with loads of cotton, stopping at the downtown depot. At that time, local residents would line up at a hotel that once stood in the downtown area when the trains arrived.
“Dad would put me on his shoulders,” said Leggett, a lifelong Paulding County resident. “A little line would go up to the hotel coming to buy cotton. When you’re a kid, you don’t forget something like that.”
Now, Leggett owns the building that originally was the Hiram train depot. The depot was built in 1927 and was used as a train depot until the late 1960s-early 1970s. At that time, it housed an antique store and later was used for storage.
In 1991, Leggett and his wife, Gail, purchased the building from Dan Purcell and planned to move it from Purcell’s property to the land they own on the corner of Main and Railroad streets. That move wasn’t popular with other city residents.
“People called us greedy,” Gail Leggett said.
The couple decided to move the building in 2005. However, though the building had been constructed out of material that was thought to be immune from termites, the bugs attacked the floor and one wall, both of which crumbled when the move began. So the Leggetts had to start from scratch to rebuild the structure on their property. Some items from the original building were salvaged and used in the reconstruction, such as old braces, lights and doors.
Since being owned by the Leggetts, the building has housed various businesses, including a Jamaican restaurant. But the majority of those leasing the building have used it for car lots. For the last three years, Jason Wiltshire has been leasing the building for his car lot, Autohouse.US Auto Sales. And last year, the building was used as a location for the movie Footloose. That’s something the car lot manager enjoyed.
“He enjoyed it,” Gail Leggett said.