Hudson -- Despite a valiant effort to save it, the historic downtown Hudson railroad depot was reduced to rubble last week, without a demolition permit according to Jody Roberts, Hudson's communication manager.
Roberts said the city was surprised by the demolition which began Aug. 30.
"Someone called us, not the railroad, but when we got there most of the demolition was done," Roberts said.
She said the zoning inspector slapped the zoning violation paperwork on a piece of equipment that was still at the site.
"Apparently they got swarmed by bees and left the site," Roberts said.
Roberts said the railroad then contacted the city and began going through the proper procedure, after the fact. She said the railroad would not be fined since they were now going through the process.
She said the nearly a century-old depot was in severe disrepair and had been a target for vandals for several years.
The 60-by 30-foot depot served the community until 1960. It was owned by the Norfolk Southern Railroad. The railroad delayed the razing to allow Hudson residents the opportunity to move it.
"All Aboard Hudson," a citizen group formed in 2005 to save the historic depot from the wrecking ball, called it quits in 2010 after failing to raise the funds necessary to relocate and rebuild the depot.
At that time, group president Sarina Kinney said it would cost $500,000 to fully restore the building and $250,000 to renovate it using salvageable parts of the depot.
In November 2010, the "All Aboard Hudson" group voted to discontinue efforts to save the depot.
Norma LaPierre, founder and former president of "All Aboard Hudson," in an earlier Hub-Times interview, blamed the economy for dooming the committee's efforts. She said tons of Hudson history was tied to the depot.
"That's where World War II soldiers went off to war. That's where the Doodlebug stopped," she said.
Hudson Library and Historical Society Archivist Gwen Mayer said the committee gave the historical society a number of items from the depot, plus a monetary donation.
"The committee gave us quite a collection. We have the railroad signal light, some large schedules, a model of the station, a model train and a couple of tickets," Mayer said.
She said she was planning to do a display at the library using the items in the near future.
"It is unfortunate that the citizen committee to save the station wasn't successful, but we know they worked diligently to achieve their goal," Mayer said.