The Oldest Still-Operating Railroad Depot in America Is In Michigan
Sometimes, history is right under your nose. So obviously, that the historic value is forgotten and stored away in subconscious memory banks, or maybe some of us get so used to it, we just don't realize what we have so close by. Michigan has many such cases. For example:
America's oldest, still-running train depot is right here in Mid-Michigan. The Jackson train depot has been in operation since 1841, rebuilt in 1872 and restored in 1978.
If you wanna know what the waiting room/lobby looked like in 1900, just walk in...it looks pretty much the same as it did over 120 years ago. Thumbwind describes it as having “long wooden pew-like benches”, “intricate woodwork”, “a carved walnut arch”, and “crystal chandeliers hanging overhead”.
There are some changes, however...back in the early 1900s the waiting room also had a baggage room, telegraph office, and restaurant.
What would a visit to the depot be in 1900 without a coney island hotdog? It was invented in 1914 right here at the Jackson depot. George Todoroff took some initiative and put his own hotdog stand right out front and served 'em up with his own special sauce. Nowadays the train and the dog still go hand-in-hand...Jackson Coney Island remains just a few feet away.
It is currently an Amtrak station; but the old depot has seen it's share of steamers, locomotives, freight trains...you name it, it's probably been through. Take a look at the photo gallery below and see some vintage photos, and how they're currently succeeding in keeping that old-time atmosphere and decor. It's a very cool place in which a person can be surrounded. Next time you take the Amtrak, take it from the Jackson Depot and see this for yourself. If you have no train-travel plans, visit anyway.....they'd love to see you and you'll get a kick out of your visit!
America's Oldest Still-Operating Depot, Jackson
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