Oregon Illinois Depot

Oregon Illinois Depot The very first depot in Oregon was a two-story building constructed in 1872.
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History Museum

Flashback Friday- Let’s look back to the mid-morning hours on an unknown day in 1963. Here we are riding in the cab of o...
06/05/2020

Flashback Friday- Let’s look back to the mid-morning hours on an unknown day in 1963. Here we are riding in the cab of one of the Burlington’s iconic E-8’s. This is the Conductors view from train #21, the westbound “morning Zephyr”. Train #21 is rolling across the Rock River bridge as it approaches Oregon. In 1963 train #21 left Chicago’s Union Station at 8:00 am and arrived in Minneapolis at 3:00 pm. Including its 8 stops along the route, the train still averaged a speed of 66 miles a hour.


The photo was taken by Karl Rethwisch, photo credit to him.

The Oregon depot has played host to many area soldiers’s departure to serve their county. As the Zephyr pulled away from...
05/25/2020

The Oregon depot has played host to many area soldiers’s departure to serve their county. As the Zephyr pulled away from the platform, young soldiers waved goodbye to their friends and family, for some, it was their final goodbye. On this Memorial Day please remember the service men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the very freedoms we enjoy each day. May they not die in vain but remain in our hearts each and every day as the courageous hero’s they are.

Below is the iconic pencil sketch of the depot titled “Last Stop Before Home” drawn by local artist and Vietnam Veteran Marvin Kunde. There is no more solemn of a reminder of the losses of war.

In place of our “Those Were The Days” presentation again this month, here is another “back in the day”. Here we are flyi...
04/25/2020

In place of our “Those Were The Days” presentation again this month, here is another “back in the day”. Here we are flying above Oregon about 1955, way before drones. This photo is looking Northwest from just south of FN Smith (Quaker Oats) at the end of 2nd street. The depot and freight house can be seen near the top center. There are a mix of cars in the yard, mostly sand cars for National Silica west of town and boxcars and ex-US Military troop cars for Kable Brothers Printing in Mt. Morris. The long string of cars running across the yard in the center are Maintenance of Way (MOW) cars. These cars were used by the railroad workers who maintained the section of railroad around Oregon. Traditionally these were transit type jobs and the MOW workers lived in theses cars when they were in town.

Photo credit goes to the BRHS collection, photographer unknown

In June of 1896 in the United States, there were 56 train collisions or derailments. In those 56 accidents 30 people wer...
04/20/2020

In June of 1896 in the United States, there were 56 train collisions or derailments. In those 56 accidents 30 people were killed. One of those accidents occured near Kilbuck Creek between Monroe [Center] and Davis Junction on June 23, 1896 when the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad train was passing through. More than 30 cars were burned and lives were lost. Thomas F. Moran, of Cragin, IL, fireman on engine #717, west bound, was instantly killed. Fred Bair, a brakeman from Elgin, was fatally injured. Engineer Daly of Chicago, seriously injured, and two tramps, names unknown, were burned to death.

The crash of the collision with an east bound train was heard for miles, and farmers came from all around to render assistance. Fire immediately broke out, and thirty-five cars loaded with meat from Chicago and merchandise of all kinds were burned. The financial loss exceeded $100,000 (equivalent to over three million today).

Knowing the track would be blocked for some time, by the next afternoon, a temporary track had been built around the wreck.

Train Wreck
04/20/2020

Train Wreck

Not sure sure if you noticed the odd train sitting on the siding this week in front of the depot. The train was a mainte...
04/17/2020

Not sure sure if you noticed the odd train sitting on the siding this week in front of the depot. The train was a maintenance train that contained 10 miles of new rail. BNSF is replacing some of the rail on the mainline in the Oregon area. This morning the the train headed on west towards Savanna unloading rail at predesignated spots along the line. We often take train tracks for granted and forget how much work is involved in maintaining and operating a railroad.

Photo by R.G. Hough

Throwback Thursday- Let’s jump in the way back machine and go back to a warm summer afternoon in the mid-1960’s. The eas...
04/09/2020

Throwback Thursday- Let’s jump in the way back machine and go back to a warm summer afternoon in the mid-1960’s. The eastbound Empire Builder makes its station stop in Oregon, IL. The train was named after James J. Hill who was the president of the Great Northern Railway. Mr. Hill organized several failing railroads into the Great Northern in 1929. The Great Northern became very successful, thus Mr. Hill became known as the “empire builder”. The Builder ran from Chicago to Seattle through Oregon until 1971 when Amtrak took over the train. The train still runs today but now uses a route up through the Wisconsin Dells. It is Amtrak’s busiest long distance train.

Photographer unknown, full credit to them.

R.G. & Rob Hough have made progress in depot’s 1950’s era model railroad of the Oregon Area. This  N scale model will de...
04/04/2020

R.G. & Rob Hough have made progress in depot’s 1950’s era model railroad of the Oregon Area. This N scale model will depict a scale replica of the tracks and associated business that were served by rail in the community.

In place of our “Those Were The Days” presentation today, here’s a photo from “back in the day”. This photo is from Sept...
03/28/2020

In place of our “Those Were The Days” presentation today, here’s a photo from “back in the day”. This photo is from September 24th 1988 as Burlington Northern GP50 number 3110 crosses the Rock River with a train of “piggyback” semi trailers in tow. This picture is taken just east of the depot, near the 2nd street crossing.

The photo was taken by Brian Rackley, photo credit to him.

03/26/2020

Due to the Governor’s stay at home order and followings the CDC social distancing guidance, the Oregon Depot’s “Those Were The Days” presentation will not be held this Saturday. We appreciate your understanding and look forward to seeing you all again real soon!

Flashback Friday- Let’s go back to 1941, here the morning Westbound Twin Cities Zephyr is just pulling into the Oregon D...
03/13/2020

Flashback Friday- Let’s go back to 1941, here the morning Westbound Twin Cities Zephyr is just pulling into the Oregon Depot with one of its famous “shovel nosed” locomotives. In just a few years these distinctive locomotive and car sets will be replaced with the iconic streamlined E units that the Q used until passenger service was discontinued in the 1970’s.

This photo is from the depot collection, Photographer unknown, credit to them.

Throwback Thursday Time!CB&Q 9990 pulls a westbound passenger train through Oregon IL on August 17th of 1968. This photo...
01/30/2020

Throwback Thursday Time!
CB&Q 9990 pulls a westbound passenger train through Oregon IL on August 17th of 1968. This photo was taken by William 'Bill' P. Diven

Mike
10/29/2019

Mike

Many thanks to those who attended my presentation of the Twin Cities Zephyrs that served Oregon. Special thanks to Roger Cain, Chris Martin, and all other Depot board members and community leaders who have shown their support for SILVER VIEW coming to reside at the Depot Museum. Attached is a photo taken by an unknown person that shows the Morning Twin Zephyr with SILVER VIEW as it made its stop in Oregon before proceeding to the Twin Cities in 1958. What a terrific reality it would be to have SILVER VIEW enhancing the Oregon Depot Museum!

Thank you to all who attended our “Those Were The Days” session today, with over 50 guests present Thank you to our two ...
10/26/2019

Thank you to all who attended our “Those Were The Days” session today, with over 50 guests present Thank you to our two speakers today, Mike Abernethy and RG Hough. Let’s bring the silver view home!

10/05/2019

In celebration of Autumn on Parade the depot will be open extended hours Saturday. We will be open from 9:00 am until 2:30 pm. We welcome friends old and new to stop by and see a cherished part of Oregon's history.

Below is an example of one the many trains that passes by the Oregon, IL Depot daily. The Depot is located right next to...
08/01/2019

Below is an example of one the many trains that passes by the Oregon, IL Depot daily. The Depot is located right next to the BNSF's Aurora Subdivision which see's 25-30 trains daily. in addition to the beautifully restored 1913 Burlington Route Depot, there is a covered viewing platform with benches facing the tracks. Stop by and discover a true gem of the Rock River Valley!

07/26/2019

This Saturday, Those Were The Days presents county board chairman, Kim Gouker. Mr. Gouker will be giving an update on the construction of the new Judicial Center Annex. Please join us at 10:00 am. Bring your questions!

Tomorrow at 10:00 am, Kris Gilbert will discuss her 20+ years of researching and cataloging Ogle County cemeteries. Topi...
06/28/2019

Tomorrow at 10:00 am, Kris Gilbert will discuss her 20+ years of researching and cataloging Ogle County cemeteries. Topics will include gps-ing graves, finding veterans, and long lost cemeteries.

Oregon Illinois Depot
06/08/2019

Oregon Illinois Depot

The Ogle County Historical Society
04/24/2019

The Ogle County Historical Society

A Whitcomb 50-ton Switching locomotive (Whitcomb 50-DE-58a-1) in Rochelle, Illinois at the Railroad Park, April 22, 2014. Photo credit to Bubba Harmon of Bubba's Garage.

"The Rochelle Railroad Park is situated in the eastern side of a diamond crossing between the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) and BNSF Railway (BNSF) mainlines. It is one of only a few places in the US where two double tracks cross each other at grade to form four “diamonds.” It is a very busy spot for train watchers with up to 120 trains passing in a 24 hour period. There is a nice pavilion to shield you from the elements as well as listen to the train chatter from the trains which is broadcast over speakers. There is also "hobo art" hung in the rafters. A Whitcomb 50-ton Switching locomotive (Whitcomb 50-DE-58a-1) is here on display as well. Rochelle was home to Whitcomb Locomotive which made more than 5000 locomotives from 1907-1952."

http://blog.bubbasgarage.com/2014/04/traveling-lincoln-highway-day-5.html?fbclid=IwAR2GgvTDnvt7ThnJvLrn1xhRyws0D3eN52n7lOe5K6_15Og07cuozZkNk7k

02/23/2019

Due to the inclement weather today, the "Those Were The Days" session is canceled, thank you for your understanding.

The Ogle County Historical Society
01/20/2019

The Ogle County Historical Society

In yesterday’s Republican Reporter, Otto Dick, local historian, wrote about an article that ran in the Oregon Republican newspaper on January 25, 1895 stating that “Oregon Is The Proper Site” for the new State Normal School for Northern Illinois. Later that same year, DeKalb was chosen as the site of the new school and the name was later changed to Northern Illinois University. It was chartered in 1895 and opened its doors in 1899. Altgeld Hall (The Castle) was the first real campus building built in a European Style.

One of the reasons that Oregon was being considered was that it had the Wells Training School, which at the time had already trained many teachers. In 1879 E. L. Wells established the Wells Teacher Training School located on N. 4th Street near the rock where Lincoln spoke in 1856. The school quickly gained a reputation as a fine teacher’s training school.

After graduating from Oregon High School, Otto attended Northern Illinois University where he met, attended school with and later married Marilyn Mattison. Pictured are Altgeld Hall and Otto and Marilyn at NIU.

105 years ago yesterday, this appeared in the local newspaper about the new depot. Reprinted from the Ogle County Report...
01/16/2019

105 years ago yesterday, this appeared in the local newspaper about the new depot.

Reprinted from the Ogle County Reporter of January 15, 1914.

Citizens Are Proud of New Depot

FINE NEW PASSENGER STATION AT OREGON

The depot is open every Saturday morning from 9-12. The Those Were The Days programs featuring various local speakers happens the the last Saturday of every month 10:00 to 12:00. Chris Martin has lined up excellent speakers.

For more information about the depot or to share a story with us contact Roger Cain, 815.732.2318, Otto Dick, 815.440.0639 or Chris Martin, 815.742.8471.

http://www.oregondepot.org/depot.html

"The Merci Train was a train of 49 French railroad box cars filled with tens of thousands of gifts of gratitude from at ...
01/15/2019

"The Merci Train was a train of 49 French railroad box cars filled with tens of thousands of gifts of gratitude from at least that many individual French citizens. They were showing their appreciation for the more than 700 American box cars of relief goods sent to them by (primarily) individual Americans in 1948. The Merci Train arrived in New York harbor on February 3rd, 1949 and each of the 48 American states at that time received one of the gift laden box cars. The 49th box car was shared by Washington D.C. and the Territory of Hawaii. Parades and ceremonies of welcome were conducted in the state capitols and major cities of almost all the states. The largest and most attended was in New York City where more than 200,000 people turned out to welcome that state's assigned box car."

http://mercitrain.org/?fbclid=IwAR1VhW_t_wd7LGYsGJVKdrvlB17QThBNp6OipAq6NGO3OUBHCbwNLyq1gic

This Rodin was a gift from France🇫🇷to Illinois from the Merci train of 1949 as thanks for the Liberation in WWII and the more than 40 mil in food and aid by U.S. citizens to France and Italy 🇮🇹 in 1948. #artifactoftheweek #illinoislegacycollection #museum #twitter #storyofillinois

Henry "Hank" Fruit of Taylor Township was the engineer of Burlington RR locomotive #2852 when it left the rails between ...
12/17/2018

Henry "Hank" Fruit of Taylor Township was the engineer of Burlington RR locomotive #2852 when it left the rails between Oregon and Mt. Morris on July 15, 1948. It hit 16 inches of gravel that had been accidentally spread on the rails. Henry Fruit is standing in the rear with Virgil Butcher and Millard Wilson (hand on light), son of Maude Reed Wilson who had been a teacher at the Carthage school.

http://www.oregondepot.org/

Honoring our Ogle County veterans this 100th veteran's day, November 11, 2018.The Oregon VFW will have a Veteran's Day C...
11/09/2018

Honoring our Ogle County veterans this 100th veteran's day, November 11, 2018.

The Oregon VFW will have a Veteran's Day Celebration on Sunday November 11th at 11:00. At the ceremony the Oregon High School Choir will be singing the National Anthem plus other patriotic songs. Ogle County veteran, Doug Wean will speak and the service will end with the traditional 21 gun salute ending with Taps performed by the VFW.

There will be the traditional pot luck following the ceremony at the VFW. The public is invited.

Shared from the Rochelle Flagg Township Museum's page!https://www.facebook.com/RochelleFlaggTownshipMuseum/
10/10/2018

Shared from the Rochelle Flagg Township Museum's page!

https://www.facebook.com/RochelleFlaggTownshipMuseum/

August 31, 1947. C & NW steam locomotive #3025 'Northern' ( Class H, 4-8-4 built by Baldwin in October, 1929 ) hauling mail through the diamond. Bill Landis collection shared by the Chicago & North Western Historical Society.

Thank you to all who attended the "Those were the days" session today we had a great turn out with 46 guests!
09/29/2018

Thank you to all who attended the "Those were the days" session today we had a great turn out with 46 guests!

Rochelle Flagg Township Museum
09/05/2018

Rochelle Flagg Township Museum

C&NW FT # 4051 approaching the Rochelle tower from the west. June 20, 1948. Wallace Abbey photograph.

Oregon Illinois Depot, late 1940s. According to Bob Rees, this photo was taken by Jim Purcel in the late 1940's when he ...
08/30/2018

Oregon Illinois Depot, late 1940s.

According to Bob Rees, this photo was taken by Jim Purcel in the late 1940's when he was a Western Union Telegraph messenger operating out of the Oregon Depot. The engineer by the Prairie Type 2-6-2 local "Dinky" was Hank Fruit who did the local in Oregon and Mt Morris. Jim was on the top of the cattle pens when he took the photo.

Don't forget the depot is open every Saturday from 9-12 and we have our special Those Were The Days programs the last Saturday of every month at 10:00.

http://www.oregondepot.org/depot.html

From Doug Wean.
08/21/2018

From Doug Wean.

I am looking forward to joining the "Those were the Days" crew this Saturday, August 25th at 10 AM at the Oregon Train Depot. This is a photo taken at the 'Great Lakes Naval Hospital' in March of 1969 having been awarded our Nations third highest Combat Medal: "The Silver Star for Gallantry in Action." I served as a Navy Corpsman with the 3rd Marine Division, during the "TET" Offensive of 1968.

Railroad workers from the Oregon Illinois Depot across the street at the Railway Hotel & Cafe, 1930s. Does anyone recogn...
08/13/2018

Railroad workers from the Oregon Illinois Depot across the street at the Railway Hotel & Cafe, 1930s. Does anyone recognize any familiar faces? Perhaps these men are section hands who came and went as needed.

Photo credit to Daryl Bacon whose grandparents ran the Railway Hotel & Cafe for a number of years and lived next door at 1101 S. 4th Street.

The Railway Hotel & Cafe across from the Oregon Illinois Depot, 1930s. Look at all those cigars and chewing tobacco! Pho...
08/10/2018

The Railway Hotel & Cafe across from the Oregon Illinois Depot, 1930s. Look at all those cigars and chewing tobacco!

Photo credit to Daryl Bacon whose grandmother Addie Helman Lumsden lived next door to the hotel and whose mother worked at the hotel and cafe.

Marlene Hobbs, one of the earliest Oregon Illinois Depot restoration workers, 2001. Marlene had just gotten a new Cadill...
07/28/2018

Marlene Hobbs, one of the earliest Oregon Illinois Depot restoration workers, 2001.

Marlene had just gotten a new Cadillac and when the RR Boom truck went by he ripped the electric wires out of the depot and they landed across the trunk of her new Cadillac and put burn marks on it.

Progress through 2002 as told by Bob Rees - The Start of It All.

http://www.oregondepot.org/prog02.html

Address

401 Collins St.
Oregon, IL
61061

Opening Hours

Saturday 09:00 - 12:00

Telephone

(815) 440-0639

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Comments

Many thanks to those who attended the presentation at the Oregon Depot last Saturday (10/25/19). Special thanks to Roger Hain, Chris Martin, and all the members of the Depot Board for the interest and support to perhaps have SILVER VIEW reside at the Depot. I have attached a photo of SILVER VIEW as part of the Morning Twin Zephyr making its stop at Oregon in 1958 before continuing on to the Twin Cities.
Many thanks to those who attended my presentation of the Twin Cities Zephyrs that served Oregon. Special thanks to Roger Cain, Chris Martin, and all other Depot board members and community leaders who have shown their support for SILVER VIEW coming to reside at the Depot Museum. Attached is a photo taken by an unknown person that shows the Morning Twin Zephyr with SILVER VIEW as it made its stop in Oregon before proceeding to the Twin Cities in 1958. What a terrific reality it would be to have SILVER VIEW enhancing the Oregon Depot Museum!
Browse Ogle County history: http://www.historyoglecounty.info
I am looking forward to joining the "Those were the Days" crew this Saturday, August 25th at 10 AM at the Oregon Train Depot. This is a photo taken at the 'Great Lakes Naval Hospital' in March of 1969 having been awarded our Nations third highest Combat Medal: "The Silver Star for Gallantry in Action." I served as a Navy Corpsman with the 3rd Marine Division, during the "TET" Offensive of 1968.
Very cool pic of 1953 Buick on tracks
How do i add pictures to this site i wanted to add some C.B.Q.R.R photos
When do they have it open?