Decapod pays homage to Winder’s railroad roots

WINDER, Ga. – The small town of about 10,000 owes a lot to the railroad. Its name, for starters.

In 1893, the town of Jug Tavern, as Winder was once known, changed its name to Winder to honor John H. Winder, a general manager with Seaboard Air Line.

The town’s railroad past is on display next to its historic depot on Porter Street: Gainesville Midland No. 208. Built by Pennsylvania-based Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1930, the decapod – as the locomotive is known because of its 10 drive wheels – originally operated as No. 530 on the Seaboard Air Line.

The Gainesville Midland purchased the steamer during the 1950s. The locomotives operated until 1959, according to George H. Drury’s Guide to North American Steam Locomotives.

After its retirement, No. 208 was given to the city of Winder. No. 208 was originally displayed near Athens Street and was moved to its current location in 1981.

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