ELDON – When Trevor Vernon, mayor of Eldon, Missouri, walked as much as the development web site that may turn into Eldon’s Rock Island Depot, he couldn’t assist however smile.
Solely a brief stroll from Vernon’s workplace at The Advertiser, Eldon’s native newspaper the place he additionally serves because the writer, Eldon Profession Middle college students are rebuilding the depot. Efforts have been made to rebuild the depot up to now, however the latest construction was destroyed in a twister that hit Eldon in 2019.
Vernon hopes the brand new model will turn into much more very important to Eldon’s financial system and its residents.
“When it’s finished, hopefully it’s just like the hub of the neighborhood,” Vernon stated. “And when individuals come into city, it’s like a customer’s heart. The chamber might be housed there. Hopefully there’ll be volunteers there throughout the weekend if the path ever comes by way of, which we’re hoping it does.”
The depot served as a transportation heart earlier than the Rock Island Railroad grew to become inactive within the Nineteen Eighties.
The Rock Island Railroad used to cease on the depot, and the place the previous tracks have been, the Division of Pure Sources will construct the Rock Island Path. Eldon Chamber of Commerce President Erin Rohwer hopes site visitors from the path will carry vacationers to the guests heart.
“And our hope is that individuals going by way of biking strolling alongside the Rock Island Path will cease and take a look at what’s within the depot as soon as it is constructed,” Rohwer, whose chamber might be housed within the depot, stated.
“If the path goes by way of, completely [it will generate revenue for the town],” Vernon stated. “There’s numerous prospects there.”
The one roadblock to the path being re-built is funding, and the Division of Pure Sources hopes to obtain an endowment fund within the close to future.
Many have advocated for the development of the brand new Rock Island Depot due to the wealthy historical past of railroads within the city. In August of 2020, the town unveiled a mural to honor the Missouri Pacific Line and Rock Island Railroad’s ties to Eldon.
Vernon’s great-grandfather labored on the railroad.
“Yeah I didn’t know him, however I can inform you there’s household tales which have been handed down by way of the years,” Vernon stated. “His identify was Chester, and he was a railroader, so there’s one thing sort of particular about that, my grandfather all the time had a particular spot for that.”
In response to Vernon, the depot originated by chance.
“The place the practice truly stopped was sort of a comic story,” Vernon stated. “They tried to cease slightly farther down the tracks and the practice stored rolling again to right here, which is sort of fascinating.”
After the depot is completed, residents like Vernon and Rohwer will have the ability to discover the historical past of the railroad city within the museum, housed within the repurposed depot.
“So there are lots of people nonetheless round which have, , their mother or father or grandparent was a railroader,” Rohwer stated. “And they also have plenty of artifacts that they are prepared to donate and rotate by way of the depot to have a museum hooked up to it as nicely.”