By Sarah Plummer
Hundreds of people took turns walking through Oak Hill’s 110-year-old depot Saturday at the grand opening of the White Oak Depot Artisan and Gallery Heritage Center.
Susan Craun, secretary of the White Oak Chapter of the national Railroad Society, said the opening has been “everything we expected and so much more. The entire town is talking about it.”
Craun said several local artisans banded together to save the depot, helping to provide much-needed renovations, outdoor restrooms and a dog watering station for those using the rail trail.
The gallery holds a 30-artisan display of high-end wares, including wooden bowls, jewelry, copper wine racks, leatherwork and handmade guns.
Craun said many of those attending the event were surprised by the amount of local talent. The artisans represent Bolt to Fayetteville, with most of them centered in the Oak Hill area.
Woodworker Dave Bragg has been practicing the craft since the 1980s and has been featured in national magazines. He said he tries to stick to more traditional woodworking.
“I think (this gallery and depot) has the potential to put Oak Hill further on the map, done right and marketed to tourism. If we build it, they will come,” he said.
Not only is the newly renovated depot offering a collection of local art, it also houses some of the area’s rich history.
“I’m very glad they have taken the time to restore something this precious to our history,” commented Phyllis Holly, of Oak Hill.
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