Webster Springs is looking to make a piece of the town's past a big piece of its future.
An old train station stands on Route 20 near the edge of Webster Springs. But over the next few months, Webster Springs Mayor Don McCourt hopes to bring new life to the old building.
"We needed a visitor center so when people come into the county and get information about where they can go trout fishing, where they can go on a hike, where they can ride on trails, so we decided it might be a nice place for a welcome center," McCourt said.
The train station is just across the bridge from Baker's Island, one of the main recreation areas in the county. Webster County Economic Development Authority director Gery Weir said locating the visitors center so close to the park will help attract more attention and more business to the county.
"With folks wanting to come in to camp, if we have a nice place for them to do that, things for them to see, things for them to do when they're here, they're more likely to come and stay a little bit longer, and of course, the longer they're here, the more money they'll spend and that'll help stimulate the economy," Weir said.
And speaking of camping, the old station has acres of space surrounding it, and McCourt said the location would be a perfect place to camp for visitors to Webster County.
"We have a real need in this area for places for people to stay, and we just started looking at traffic and did some studies, and it'd be a real good place for a campground, a full-service hookup, power, water, electric, sewer, about 25 sites," McCourt said.
McCourt and Weir said the center is ready to begin the renovations, they're just waiting for one last piece of paperwork from the state. They hope to have the building ready for the beginning of tourist season next year.