The old depot crosses the railroad tracks at McRae


Old Depot Moves to Pioneer Village


n a 12-mile trip that took two and a half hours, the White County Historical Society moved the old Garner depot from McRae to Searcy on August 19, 2003.  Nestled on the trailer of a Little Rock moving company, the 123-year-old building left L.B. Weaver's pecan grove in McRae at 8:40 a.m.  It arrived in its new home at  Pioneer Village on Higginson Road at 11:10 a.m. after dodging a multitude of limbs and power lines.   The only problem came when the Searcy Police  escort car got stuck in the ditch in front of the Village, but workers quickly pushed it out.  According to project coordinator Bill Leach, the society had to obtain clearance from seven different companies, including cable television, power companies and even the railroad.  The depot had to cross the tracks at Doyle Road in McRae after waiting on three trains to go by.  After a difficult turn from south Main onto Booth Road the 28x42-foot, red-and-white structure rolled on to near the main entrance of Pioneer Village, where it was centered over concrete footings, to be lowered into place after brick piers are constructed in coming weeks.  It was the third move for the depot, which was constructed about 1880.  It served as a passenger and freight depot for the community of Garner until about 1939 when it was sold by the railroad and moved within Garner to become a private residence.  The building was purchased by L.B. and Marie Weaver of McRae in 1967.  Marie Weaver operated it for many years as an antique shop and gallery for her paintings before she and her husband had it moved to McRae.  Following her death last year, L.B. Weaver donated the depot to the historical society in her honor. 


ioneer Village is a collection of 19th century buildings that was located at the White County Fairgrounds for 35 years until it was moved to Higginson Road last year.  At the request of the Fair Board, and with the encouragement of city officials, the historical society agreed to handle the move and preservation of the Village, which will remain closed to the public until some time in 2004.  Donations to the Pioneer Village fund, which are tax deductible, may be mailed to WCHS-PV, P.O. Box 537, Searcy, AR 72145.