The Old Two-Story Depot - A historical reflection by Russ Boyles
"From information in the Centennial Book, I'm surmising it was built circa 1882. That was when the Milwaukee road was built using the first river bridge, located about a mile and half down river from the present high trestle bridge. To access that first bridge, the rail line dropped to the lower river bottom by following the ravine that starts by Jerry Nelsons, passes by Xenia Cemetery and on down to the river bottom. Because this area was on a rather steep grade, the depot was located at Colton, what is now Woodward, where the terrain leveled-off and made a good site for trains to start and stop. You'll notice the depot site is on a high point, with the railroad grade dropping-off both to the east and the west. The same situation existed on the east side of the river, where the railroad was built following a ravine on that side of the river. Madrid was known as Swede Point, and I assume a depot was built there about the same time.
"Woodward and Madrid both celebrated their centennial in 1983. By the configuration of the depot, it would have to be assumed that it was used for both passenger and freight service. I don't know when passenger service discontinued. It was used for freight clear-up until I was in high school in the fifties. I don't know when freight was discontinued.Passenger service was discontinued by the early forties by the start of WW II. I remember I had older brothers in the service during WW II and we had to go to Madrid or Perry to meet the train whenever they came home on leave.
"I Don't know exactly when it was razed. What I do remember is it was still there in the very late forties or early fifties, because I carried morning papers when in eighth grade, and picked them up at the depot, and remember looking in the window and seeing the benches in the waiting room. The Hiawatha went roaring by and as the mail car passed, a door would open and someone inside would throw our bundled newspapers out on the depot apron. Sometimes they would miss the platform and we would have to walk a short distance to find them. Howard Schutt started work at the elevator in 1956 or 57 and the two story building was gone then. So we could safely say that the two story depot was razed in "the early fifties". So from 1882 to 1952 or so, it stood about 70 years.
From my perspective, that's it in a nutshell."
Russ Boyles - Long-time Woodward Resident
Home | Current Projects of Envision Woodward | Past Projects | Calendar | Related Links | Contact Us