Preservation Journal



Flanked by two cabooses representing two of the railroads that have serviced St. Charles (the MKT and the Wabash), St. Charles’ Katy Depot sits in Frontier Park awaiting its next visitor. For years, the depot has been known as the M.K.T. Depot, so named after the railroad whose tracks used to stretch from the St. Charles County village of Machens to Pettis County’s Sedalia and beyond into Kansas and Texas. It once welcomed passengers riding the rails; but now it is a fixture in Frontier Park. In recent winters, the depot has become an ornament to a new main attraction in Frontier Park, a new Christmas tradition: the ice skating rink. During its lifetime, it has welcomed storytellers, artists, Civil War re-enactors, and tourists. The story of the depot has a few surprises and, like the railroad, some unexpected twists and turns. The history of the depot is a tale of the railroad, of urban renewal, and of historic preservation; it features a change of name for the railroad, a change of location, and a change in purpose. As a result of these changes, the depot has become a monument to railroad history.

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Justin Watkins >>

Article by
Archie Scott >>

Slideshow: click any photo to begin...
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    The Katy Depot was moved on trailers across the tracks to its place in Frontier Park.
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    Archie Scott Collection, St. Charles County Historical Society
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    Archie Scott Collection, St. Charles County Historical Society