VEEDERSBURG — More than half a century after the last passengers left the Nickel Plate Depot, the landmark train station is gaining recognition for helping turn this brickmaking town into one of the area’s several bustling transportation hubs.
The depot, which was built in the early 1900s, has been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places by the Veedersburg Revitalization Association, which is assisting the town in renovating the station.
The town recently gained ownership of the building and is waiting to secure funding for a feasibility study,
“People always comment, I … want to see inside that depot because it’s got so much character on the outside,” VRA treasurer Sherry Bailey said.
The association has applied for funds through nonprofit preservation group Indiana Landmarks to begin studying the future use of the station. The Indiana Landmarks Efroymson Family Endangered Places Grant would cover 80 percent of the cost for a feasibility study, rehabilitation plan and adaptive use plan.
A consultant will meet with town officials to help steer the process.
“Then it will be up to the town, ultimately, to decide what to do with it,” Bailey said.
Built as the Veedersburg Clover Leaf Route Depot, the station was one of a string of stops on the Toledo, St. Louis and Western line that linked the Gateway to the West with northern Ohio.
From Veedersburg, the train stopped in Linden, Clarks Hill and Frankfort before winding through northeast Indiana to cross the state line.
In 1922, the Nickel Plate Railroad gained control of the route. The final passenger train stopped in Veedersburg in 1958. For the next 30 years, the depot served freight cars and was used as a maintenance facility. On their last day on the job in March 1988, maintenance workers spray-painted the date on a wall.
Final approval on the historic register designation isn’t expected for 18 months. The depot would join more than a dozen other properties on the list, including neighborhood districts, a church and graveyard and the courthouse.
To raise funds for the project, the association is sponsoring Depot Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the station, which sits at the corner of U.S. 136 and Railroad Avenue across from The Fountain Trust Co.
Along with tours and information about Veedersburg railroad history, the event includes food, bounce houses, a mini train ride for children, lawn games, a 50-50 drawing with cash prizes and a bake sale. Representatives from the Linden Depot Museum will also be on hand.
The rain date is June 8.
For more information, visit facebook.com/VeedersburgRevitalizationAssociation.