The Story of the Illinois Central Depot
& Buchanan County Tourism
- The Buchanan County Tourism Bureau (BCTB) was formed in 1992. BCTB purchased the Illinois Central Depot and Baggage building from the railroad company in 1994 for one dollar with the agreement that it would be moved to a new location. In 1996, the two buildings were transported to their new site at 111 5th Ave. NE, Independence, a painstaking process.
- In 2000, a memorial brick walk was installed at the Depot to honor veterans of the railroad, military, school classmates, and the many volunteers and friends of the Depot.
- In 2002, a fully-functioning 1940 model rail car seated on rails was donated. The Illinois Central Railroad Company originally used the car for track inspection. Another addition was the installation of a crossing sign and horse-drawn fireman's hose cart. The cart was pulled by eight men and was manufactured in the early 1900s. A display of Illinois Central Railroad memorabilia was placed inside the Depot.
- The Depot also acquired a 1926 90-ton steam engine and a 45-ton tender (coal car) and a 1978 32-ton caboose that now sit on the west side of the property. A local boy scout received his Eagle Scout award for redoing the inside of the caboose in 2015.