History has not been kind to the Old Southside Station, but times are a changing.
The now deteriorating building was once filled with the day to day traveler, women in ankle length skirts tugging impatient children by the arm and gentlemen in three piece suits and high hats bowing gracefully to passersby.
The long empty two-story depot was the home to the necessities of southern living. A place where goods and merchandise were carried into the Cockade City and inventoried before being placed on display in the windows and shops that lined the cobblestone streets of Old Towne.
Before too long, however, the Southern Railroad stop would be used by a different kind of passenger. Gray-clad soldiers would ride the empty cars of passenger and freight trains to their new posts or to one of the various military hospitals that had cropped up in Petersburg proper.
That was the Southside Station in it's prime, a bustling center of Confederate activity, and a prime target for Union forces looking to beat Gen. Robert E. Lee and his troops into submission.
A barrage of cannon fire shook the very foundation of the old railroad depot everyday, the brick and mortar building trembling beneath a layer of dust.
At one point, a 30-pound artillery shell passed through the roof of the left wing. While the roof is long gone, the shell's flight can be traced through the roof support beam and a wooden bar that was installed to brace the beam.
After the siege and fall of Petersburg, former Confederate
Gen. William Mahone would come to call this place home, locating his office on the upper floor of the two-story section and his desk placed next to the wide window overlooking the city of Petersburg.
That was before time took it's toll, before the station was abandoned for more profitable railways, before a tornado swept down through the cobblestone streets of the old city and destroyed one wing of the historic building.
Recent efforts to restore this old station to it's former glory by a small group of dedicated people failed. It is now in the hands of the City who's intentions for it's restoration are unclear. Will it eventually be restored to its former glory or will it remain in its present state of disrepair.........
Entrance hole of Union cannon shell during the shelling of the Station during the Civil War.
Exit hole of another round. There are two known cannonball holes that still remain in the ceiling beams.
A view from Billy Mahone's office window where he could look upon the city from his desk.
Fire place in the Roadmasters office area.