Mayor Pat Moeller doesn’t want CSX to demolish the historic train passenger station located along South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in the city.
“Give the train station to the city,” he wrote in an open letter about the station. “We will secure it. We will find groups to preserve it. Or, give it to an historic preservation group who will restore it.”
“We could call it the Lincoln-Truman-CSX Train Station. This train station does not inherently delay and interfere with the railroad’s interstate commerce.”
Moeller noted at Wednesday’s Hamilton City Council meeting that some World War I soldiers returned to Hamilton as heroes at the station, while others who were slain returned to tears from their families.
He suggested the names of Lincoln and Truman because Abraham Lincoln spoke in Hamilton about the “curse of slavery” in 1859 shortly before becoming president, and Harry S. Truman also gave a speech near the station in 1948.
“Great people and great minds, from governors to engineers, have built and championed the structure,” Moeller wrote.
Council Member Eric Pohlman thanked him for writing the letter and agreed the station is worth saving, although he also acknowledged, as Moeller had, that the task won’t be easy.
Moeller noted during the meeting that in the past year Butler County preservationists and others accomplished the unlikely feat of saving the “Fortified Hill” earthworks in Ross Twp. that are believed to have been built by the Hopewell people about 2,000 years ago.
Moeller also wrote in his letter, “This place … this train station … matters to us. It is your train station, but it is also our train station. The train station is part of us. John Steinbeck once stated, ‘How will we know it’s us without our past?’ Keeping historical structures living and breathing for future citizens to see, touch, and hear are teaching moments.
“Please accept this letter as a formal notice of our intent to preserve the historic train station. Let Hamilton keep its history.”
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