Niota Depot- CWT
201 East Main Street
Niota, TN 37826
Niota is Tennessee’s oldest extant depot, constructed in 1854 to serve the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad Company. Two Union companies used the depot to guard the rail lines.
Niota, called Mouse Creek at the time of the Civil War, is home to Tennessee’s oldest extant depot. This building was constructed in 1854 to service the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad Company, the same line that was targeted by East Tennessee Unionists during a November 1861 bridge burning campaign that attempted to sever Confederate supply lines. Federal occupational forces recognized the importance of rail lines as they provided quick and efficient transport of supplies and troops throughout the state and protected the depot with artillery. Company C of the 2nd Ohio Heavy Artillery and Company C of the 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery served assignments here with the depot serving as a makeshift fort. Federal troops knocked bricks out of the wall in the freight area of the depot so they could shoot attackers. A Civil War-era description of the Niota area portrays it as being sparsely populated: “We traveled this lonesome road a few miles farther, and came at last to the crest of the hill, some five hundred feet, directly overlooking the valley. There it lay at our feet, extending north as far as the eye could reach, and at least three miles in width—dotted with neat farm-houses, and just below us Mouse Creek Station, with its dozen or more neat white cottages and one large brick mansion.”
- The Niota depot served as a makeshift fort for Federal troops guarding the railway