HEBRON — The Hebron Historical Society hopes to raise $5,000 by June to restore a 19th-century railroad freight building and move it across the road to the Hebron Station School.

“To lose this visual reminder of Hebron’s rail history and obvious connection as the school’s namesake would be an unconscionable lost opportunity for preserving the town’s railroad history,” society member Conrad Conant said in a statement.

Although originally thought to be East Hebron’s train depot, the building is believed to have been used for storing freight. It’s the only part of the Hebron railroad complex that exists.

“The only remaining train station building in Hebron is in jeopardy of being destroyed if sufficient funds are not raised for its restoration,” Conant said.

The Hebron rail line was last used by the Maine Central Railroad in 1945. 

The plan for using the money is to lift the vacant 18-by-24-foot building several feet to make repairs, buy roofing materials, repair the interior, install a new front door and paint the structure.

Last year, selectmen recommended to voters at the annual town meeting that they reject the society’s request for $5,000. Some selectmen argued the building was filled with lead paint and not worth the effort or expense.

Conant said a professional lead paint evaluator determined there is only a small amount of lead paint in the restroom area that can be encapsulated.

To resolve an ownership issue, the society was deeded the building on April 10, 2017.

In the 1950s, the freight building was rolled from a hayfield, which is now the town ball field, to in front of the nearby town garage. Members want to move it across Hebron Station Road to the school for possible educational use.

School Administrative District 17 directors agreed last year to the move, if the society first renovated the exterior and didn’t allow anyone inside until it’s restored.

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The railroad freight storage building in East Hebron was used in transporting large apple crops in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Research is being done to determine if the East Hebron railroad building was used as a ticket station, rather than for storing freight. (Leslie H. Dixon/Advertiser Democrat)

What: Fundraiser for East Hebron railroad building

Amount: $5,000

Who: Hebron Historical Society

Donations: Money, materials and/or labor

How: Hebron Historical Society at P.O. Box 294, Hebron, ME 04238; or www.gofundme.com/east-hebron-maine-train-building


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