Update: The depot didn’t sell at the auction. It remained for sale until July 2020, when it was taken off the market.
The important thing to remember about the Stokesdale railroad depot is that it isn’t in Stokesdale any more. It’s in Madison. And on Saturday at 11 a.m. it will be auctioned.
The depot was bought in 1975 and moved to its present location just south of Madison at 3766 U.S. 220. Sam Heffinger spent five years turning it into a home for him and his wife, India. Sam was a carpenter, farmer and clock smith (and a Marine during World War II). Here’s how it turned out.
The chain reportedly was found in the legendary wreck of the old 97 (“They gave him his orders at Monroe, Virginia, / Saying, ‘Steve, you’re way behind time / This is not 38, this is old 97 / You must put her into Spencer on time‘”).
Sam was creative in his renovation. The front door and frame, along with other interior woodwork, came from a pre-Civil War home in Madison. The sliding freight doors were replaced by windows from a church. He salvaged doors from the Monticello Hotel in Charlottesville (they have “MH” on the doorknobs). The bronze railing and gate came from a bank in Charlotte that closed during the Depression. An elevator was brought in from a building in Madison.
The house has 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bathrooms and 1,612 square feet. The lot is 1.93 acres. The wooden floors are original, as is the German paneling in what had been the office and waiting rooms. Sam added a basement and a garage. The basement holds the living room, a fireplace, the kitchen and a bathroom. It has a tin ceiling.
The property was previously listed for sale at $199,900 before the owner decided to hold an auction. The last previous sale was for $170,000 in May 2003.