Petersburg Department of Communications, Tourism, Marketing &  Government Relations

South Side Depot

37 River Street
Petersburg, VA 23803




Uncover the timeless appeal and historical significance of South Side Depot, built in 1854. This iconic depot is a testament to our nation’s illustrious railroad history and enduring heritage.

As Virginia’s oldest surviving railroad station, South Side Depot holds a special place in history. Its central two-story section once served as a busy passenger depot, flanked by east and west wings.

During the American Civil War, South Side Railroad emerged as a lifeline for Virginia, serving as a critical supply route. The depot was a logistical hub, supporting both military endeavors and civilian transit. Post-war, the depot reverted to the control of the South Side Railroad, led by former Confederate Major General William “Billy” Mahone, who oversaw operations from his office on the depot’s second floor.

In August 1993, an F4 tornado swept through Old Towne Petersburg, wreaking havoc on South Side Depot. It tore apart the roofs of the west freight wing and the central passenger depot and destroyed the east wing.

South Side Depot has stood the test of time and has been used as a backdrop in various cinematic productions. From noteworthy appearances in films like Lincoln and Ithaca to television series such as Turn and Point of Honor, this historic landmark continues to captivate audiences with its timeless charm and rich history.


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