Jimmy Carter National Historical Park | CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS

Plains Depot, the Carter Campaign Headquarters

Plains Depot, the Carter Campaign Headquarters

OPERATING HOURS

Jimmy Carter’s campaign headquarters in the Plains Railroad Depot is open daily from 9 AM to 4:30 PM, except when closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s days. Times can always change, so before heading out to the park, be sure to get the latest schedule on the National Park Service’s official Operating Hours and Seasons web page for Jimmy Carter National Historical Park.

View from the Plains Railroad Depot at Jimmy Carter National Historical Park

View from the Plains Railroad Depot at Jimmy Carter National Historical Park

VISITING THE CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS

The original town of Plains—named Plains of Dura—was actually two miles from where it is today. When the railroad came through the area in the 1880s it bypassed the original town site, running instead through what is today Plains, Georgia, on land owned by Milton Hudson. To take advantage of the railroad, Hudson decided to donate the land and form a new town. Plains of Dura and two other towns in the area merged and moved to the present day location, thus forming the modern day Plains.

The Plains Depot is the original train depot and the oldest building in Plains, dating back to 1888. Both passenger and cargo trains came through the town, dropping off people and picking up cotton, cattle, hogs, and other farm produce. However, by the 1950s, train travel had waned, and in 1951 passenger service was discontinued and the depot fell out of use.

At the time Jimmy Carter ran for president, he had been renting the depot to store farm equipment. Since it was the only building in town that was not in daily use and had a restroom, Carter decided to use it as his campaign headquarters. The depot has been restored to the way it looked in 1976, and it now contains exhibits specifically about Carter’s presidential campaign. There are usually no Rangers or volunteers on duty, so a visit is self-guided.

Exhibits about the Jimmy Carter Presidential Campaign inside the Plains Depot

Exhibits about the Jimmy Carter Presidential Campaign inside the Plains Depot

Exhibits about the Jimmy Carter Presidential Campaign inside the Plains Depot

Exhibits about the Jimmy Carter Presidential Campaign inside the Plains Depot

Jimmy Carter campaign memorabilia on display at the Plains Depot Campaign Headquarters

Jimmy Carter campaign memorabilia on display at the Plains Depot Campaign Headquarters

A video presentation about the campaign shows continuously on a TV from the 1970s.

Jimmy Carter presidential campaign video plays at the Plains Depot Campaign Headquarters

Jimmy Carter presidential campaign video plays at the Plains Depot Campaign Headquarters

There is another room located down a short flight of stairs where some original campaign buttons are on display. This level is also where the restroom is located. However, it is now closed and non-functioning.

Jimmy Carter campaign buttons on display at the Plains Depot Campaign Headquarters

Jimmy Carter campaign buttons on display at the Plains Depot Campaign Headquarters

The small block of buildings that makes up the business district of Plains is located across the street, and if you walk behind the depot and cross the railroad tracks you can see Billy Carter’s Service Station, which is now a private museum.

Downtown Plains is located across the street from Jimmy Carter's campaign headquarters

Downtown Plains is located across the street from Jimmy Carter’s campaign headquarters

Billy Carter's Gas Station Museum is located behind the Plains Depot Campaign Headquarters

Billy Carter’s Gas Station Museum is located behind the Plains Depot Campaign Headquarters

SCHEDULING YOUR TIME

A half hour is plenty of time to tour the Jimmy Carter Campaign Headquarters and watch the video. If you don’t want to watch the video, plan to spend five to ten minutes.

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Last updated on April 30, 2022
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