The Fort Payne Depot Museum was built in 1891 and served as a depot for the Alabama-Great Southern Railroad for approximately 85 years. When the railroad announced plans to close and dismantle the depot, a group of preservation-minded citizens succeeded in acquiring the building from Norfolk-Southern Railway in 1985. Funds were raised locally for stabilization and restoration of the building and it opened as a museum in 1986.
Today, the Fort Payne Depot Museum houses several permanent and rotating exhibits in two separate buildings. Both properties are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can view collections of local DeKalb County and Fort Payne history in the Local History room. The Gussie Killian Collection contains extensive examples of Native American basketry, pottery, and artifacts housed in the north room. The south room displays the L.A. Dobbs exhibit along with memorabilia from the Civil War, World War I and II, as well as the Vietnam War. The Depot Annex located in the Fort Payne Coal & Iron Building houses rotating exhibits along with a substantial collection of dioramas by Steve Fiora.