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 Post subject: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:15 pm 
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Location: Hamilton, Illinois
The old Union Depot in Keokuk, Iowa, owned by Pioneer Railcorp (PREX), is in process of being sold to the city of Keokuk. The city is forming a commission to supervise restoration and determine potential use of the building. (I attended one of the planning group meetings last week, though I live across the Mississippi in Illinois.) The depot served the CB&Q, CRI&P, Wabash and perhaps the TP&W and was owned by the Keokuk Junction when Pioneer Railcorp bought the KJRY. Below, my photo taken in 2006. The tracks immediately in front of the depot are interchange tracks between BNSF and KJRY. The stub track next to the depot is on land that will be leased to the city; its disposition is uncertain at this point (currently holds a derelict ex-Cotton Belt unit, but it would be nice to have some appropriate piece of historic rolling stock parked there). I will try to keep you posted. -- Richard Leonard, Hamilton, Illinois


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Last edited by rlsteam on Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:26 pm 

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That would make a great starting point for a small railroad museum or perhaps a localized branch of an established larger one.

Wes

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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:53 am 
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What a beautiful depot, thanks for the heads-up Richard!

Here's an image from an old postcard.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:32 am 
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Location: Hamilton, Illinois
Here's a post card from the Keokuk Public Library collection.


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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:34 am 
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Location: Hamilton, Illinois
This view is from the northeast side, in March 2006:


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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:38 am 
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This view was taken in February 2007, from the approach to the old roadway that runs on top of the railroad bridge, and looking under the current highway bridge that parallels it. You can see the BNSF-KJRY transfer tracks in front of the depot.


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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:29 pm 
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The City of Keokuk now actually holds title to the Union Depot, after a delay in processing the paperwork by Pioneer Railcorp (PREX). A City commission is being formed to promote restoration and determine use. PREX is removing its materials, etc. that have been stored in the depot, and local fundraising events are in the planning stage. The mayor of Keokuk and his wife, as well as the publisher of the local newspaper, are leaders in the restoration effort. Since I live across the Mississippi in Illinois and am not a Keokuk resident, I am ineligible to serve on the Commission, but hope to be involved in some way.

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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:15 am 
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A link to the article in the Keokuk paper, the "Daily Gate City," on March 16 about the Depot project:
http://www.dailygate.com/articles/2011/ ... 203891.txt

Today we get to tour the depot. We're told to bring flashlights, because the lighting inside is poor. The building is locked with a railroad switch lock (!) for which, of course, Pioneer doesn't want to give the City the key, so new locks will have to be installed.

Richard

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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:59 am 
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Members of the restoration group got to inspect the Depot on March 18. The man walking along the end of the building in the photo is the mayor of Keokuk, Tom Marion. His wife Debbie is active in the restoration group. Serving as temporary chairman of the restoration group is Mark Smidt, publisher of the Daily Gate City, Keokuk's local paper.

An open house at the Depot is scheduled for Friday, April 29, 4:00-7:00 p.m. Hy-Vee, Inc., the supermarket chain, is arranging for food and beverages for the event. The weekend is also that of the annual Civil War reenactment in Keokuk, so some out-of-towners may include the Depot in their agenda.

The Keokuk City Council will probably approve an ordinance establishing a Commission for Depot preservation, and elect members, on April 7. (I live across the river in Illinois and am not eligible to serve on that Commission.)

A cleanup crew is to start sweeping out debris this Saturday. The waiting room, which will be the only part of the Depot accessible during the open house, is already fairly clear of rubbish. Pioneer Railcorp used the depot for storage of equipment and supplies, but removed most of that before transferring ownership of the building to the City of Keokuk.

Dr. Richard Leonard


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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:09 pm 
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This view of the interior of the waiting room shows some of the woodwork and paneling, and one of the large arched windows, of which the depot has several.

The Depot roof is to be repaired beginning in mid-April. In the far end of the building, the mayor found two decorative clay ornaments that must have been placed at the roof gables when the depot had a tiled roof. Probably they will not be usable on a shingled roof but should be put on display in the Depot.


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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:58 pm 

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Richard -

Thanks for the photo of the interior. Looks in pretty decent shape. At least this one corner of the building.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:47 pm 
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Thanks, Richard! Hope I can get up there for a visit this summer. Is that "Des Plaines brick" in there?

Stephen


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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:02 pm 
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I'm afraid I don't know what type of brick is used in the interior. Perhaps that detail will emerge as further research is carried out.

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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:01 pm 
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The first cleanup workday was held Saturday, April 2, 2011. One priority was cleaning the gutters around the depot and the platform canopy (is that the proper term for that structure?).


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Last edited by rlsteam on Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Keokuk Union Depot
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:03 pm 
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We finally got some lighting into the ticket office.


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