Society

Here’s why it’s called ‘restoration’

Depot has come a long way, thanks to volunteers


Yes, they’re the same buildings. The inset shows what depot looked like in 2000 shortly after being acquired by historical society. 
Reporter file photos/Mike Brown and Ken Esten Cooke Yes, they’re the same buildings. The inset shows what depot looked like in 2000 shortly after being acquired by historical society. Reporter file photos/Mike Brown and Ken Esten Cooke The Rockdale Historical Society will hold its annual chili meal from 10 a. m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the New Salem HD Clubhouse in Fair Park.

It’s a major fund raiser for the society. On this page you can see what the funds are going for.

On Dec. 1, 1999, the society purchased the former International & Great Northern railroad depot, constructed in 1905, and began a restoration project.

The building was used as a depot for 65 years, until passenger train service to Rockdale was terminated in 1970.

For the next 28 years the structure was used to store feed. It was also damaged by fire.

The restoration has involved countless hours of volunteer work by dozens of Historical Society members and others.

In addition to restoring the depot to its turn-of-the-20th Century appearance, railroad cars have been added and a complete, working blacksmith shop now stands on the grounds.


You’ve got to start somewhere. At left the late Jean Alford tackled decades of dust on waiting room bench 11 years ago. Above, volunteers laid tracks to accommodate railroad cars. You’ve got to start somewhere. At left the late Jean Alford tackled decades of dust on waiting room bench 11 years ago. Above, volunteers laid tracks to accommodate railroad cars. The depot itself is being used as a museum, emphasizing the roles of railroads, mining and agriculture to the Rockdale area.

The museum also has featured a number of historical exhibits, including one on the life of the late State Rep. Dan Kubiak of Rockdale and on the history of Dr. Pepper.

In 2009, the depot-museum was named the best historical restoration in the state of Texas.




It was a big day when the cupola was ready to be installed in 2003. Depot was named the best historical restoration in Texas for 2009. It has become the Rockdale town symbol and a backdrop for many events including the rare five-inch snowfall in February, 2010 (right). It was a big day when the cupola was ready to be installed in 2003. Depot was named the best historical restoration in Texas for 2009. It has become the Rockdale town symbol and a backdrop for many events including the rare five-inch snowfall in February, 2010 (right).

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2011-11-10 digital edition



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