This old train station, dating back to 1911 sits in what is now part of the “Tank Farms” in the Paw Creek area of West Charlotte. Used as a station for the Piedmont and Northern Railroad (P&N) and designed by C. C. Hook, it is a forgotten piece of Charlotte transportation history. The last remaining station for the old P&N Railroad, the station has seen the changes in the area from farmland and textile manufacturing to storing fuels for modern transportation.
The P&N Railroad was started in 1911 by James B. Duke (the founder of Southern Electric Company, now Duke Energy) as an electric interurban (transportation service connecting two cities) railroad connecting Charlotte to Gastonia to the West and to Anderson, Greenville and Spartanburg to the South. Built in the area known as Paw Creek, it was named Thrift due to the nearby Thrift Textile Mill (later renamed Kendall Mill) and served passengers and businesses from the nearby communities of Paw Creek, Pawtuckett and Moore’s Chapel. The station was closed in 1969 after P&N merged with the Seaboard Coast Line and the closure of the nearby Kendall Mill.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission has applied to designate this as a historic site as it is the last surviving P&N station in Mecklenburg County. It would be a shame to let this treasure go to rot, as it could be used as a transportation museum (in conjunction with the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spenser, North Carolina),or as a working train station for CSX, the current owner of the property.
If you want to go see it, please take Freedom Drive (NC 27) until you reach Old Mount Holly Road. Turn left, and the station will be to your right. Because the building is on private property, please do not trespass as the property owners take a dim view of unauthorized persons on their property. If you want to know more about the P&N Railroad or other train stations designed by C.C. Hook, please check out these sources:
Electrifying the Piedmont Carolinas by Robert F. Durden (2001) pg. 25-26
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission – Survey and Research Report on the Thrift Depot of the Piedmont and Northern Railroad Company. Historical Overview prepared by Dr. William H. Huffman (Original Report October 5, 1982, Revised October 2009)
North Carolina Architects and Builders: An Biographical Dictionary
Charles Christian Hook: http://ncarchitects.lib.ncsu.edu/people/P000211