Back in 1970, the Acworth Depot had fallen on hard times. Originally constructed in 1893, it had been the lifeblood of this railroad town for many years. But, it was abandoned, and soon to be moved to a lot on Winn Street.
One night, the freight scales from the depot found their way to the back of Moose McCray’s truck, and he has been storing them for almost 50 years.
When it was announced that the city of Acworth would build a replica of the depot as a museum downtown, McCray finally had the perfect home for the scales, and he graciously agreed to donate them to the Save Acworth History Foundation. The problem was that, after 50 years, the scales were in ramshackle condition.
But, there was someone with the special skills needed to refurbish the scales – Clemens Bak of Red Onion Press.
“When the folks at Save Acworth History Foundation came to us about this project, we were very excited about the opportunity,” Bak said. “From the beginning, this has been a team effort by the Red Onion Press that would not have been possible without the cooperation, enthusiasm and special skills of our members and friends.The Red Onion Press, which started as a project of the Acworth Cultural Arts Center in 2014, was a logical choice for the foundation. We are a group of professional artists and craftsman, dedicated to the preservation of printmaking, letterpress publishing and restoration.”
The goal was to restore the depot scales as close as possible to its original state. No one had information about how the scales worked, who made them, or even what they were supposed to look like. After extensive research, and painstaking craftsmanship, the scales have been remarkably reconditioned.
“As best as we can determine, the Acworth scales is authentic in the way it looks, and may very well be the only functional depot scales from its time in existence!,” Bak said.
An official unveiling took place July 19 at the scales’ temporary home at Acworth City Hall. Mayor Tommy Allegood complimented the partnership between the city and the Save Acworth History Foundation before unveiling the scales with Moose McCray.
Allegood said the Depot Museum will be a destination for visitors to Acworth when it opens around the end of the year. And, the freight scales will be one of the highlights of the museum.
– Becca Kienel, resident of the Collins Avenue Historic District.