It's was in the turn of the 20th Century in a what was an industrial booming town that was carried from the mid-19th century. Cowan, TN had seen everything from agriculture to mining, but the center piece of this industrial era was the railroad which was one of the main soul life line of this town. In 1904 the NC&StL built a good size depot to accommodate he demand of whistle stop, and link between this small Cumberland Plateau town, and the rest of the Nation. In time as industry come, they goes. As the mining industries started to dry up on the mountains, factories started to shut it's door, and the railroad economy decline due to it's competition know as the highway system: US Highway 41A, the depot still served passenger trains that made whistle stop in the town til passenger service ended. Time was the enemy, and as technology advance the railroad hub of Cowan continued to decline further, but the depot stood. By the 1970s the Cowan Beautification Committee was formed, and they purchased the abandon depot from the NC&StL’s successor, the L&N Railroad, to preserve an important piece of Cowan history, and saved the beautiful constructed depot for a uncertain future . As part of the purchase the city would have to move the depot from it's original location right across the tracks in which occurred in 1976. Today the Depot is the main piece of the Cowan Railroad Museum, and although the town as made a steady change since 1904 the Depot is one of the many survivor of Cowan enriching past, and the depot like many safe to say avoided the tragic fate of the downfall and decay of other unique railroad structure of the early years.
Link to TL Scott Photo of Cowan in the 1970s with the depot original location: http://www.railpictures.net/photo/607292/