Visit the Museum
by Mike Reilly, 4/28/03, updated 12/28/2005
The Depot history continues from 1976 to 2001.
C & NW Railway Station
For the full text content of the above article click http://www.lakemills.lib.wi.us/Old%20Homes/appendix_t.htm
1977/ March - "The Vanishing American Scene" - The following is an excerpt from this article: Chicago & North Western Sussex depot abandoned May, 1976, now for sale. Building is approx. 25 x 75 feet in area, constructed of wood with a central heated office which housed the ticket window and the depot agent. The east wing was formerly a waiting room for passengers. The west wing was the express shipment warehouse. A unique feature of the red painted depot is its red stone slate roof.
It is presently used by the local section foreman, Larry Drahos, as a tool and supply warehouse. All fixtures and furniture have been or will be removed from the premises before its final disposal.
The "For Sale" sign has a card attached to it reading, "Call or write A. J. Tiesling, supervisor bridge and building, Chicago & North Western Transportation Co., 608-249-7066, 1890 E. Johnson St., Madison, WI. 53701." The depot was abandoned because of the centralization of the dispatching and repair functions that were formerly operated out of this depot. Drahos, a Sussex resident, will remain in the local area for the present, operating out of a rail car on a side track. He will use a rail mounted truck to get from place to place on the N.W.R.R. system. Sometime in the future, he will have to move or commute to Clyman, Wis., where the N.W.R.R proposes to centralize the section foramen's' location. Source: Sussex Sun, Tuesday, March 22, 1977, page 13, Picture.
1977/ Apr. 26 - Six mile long grass fire on Northwestern railroad right-of-way fought by local fire department. Another fire reported in May 10, 1977 issue of Sussex Sun.
1977/ May - Country Store owners negotiate to buy and move Northwestern depot to rear of their Main St. address.
1978/ Mar. 28 - Two strings of about 40 cars and gondolas are stretched out for approx. 1/2 mile , just south of the main Northwestern railroad track between Maple Ave. and Hwy J (today's Hwy 164). They've been standing for several years; several minor box cars fires occurred, and they've been deemed a "public nuisance" by the village of Sussex. Source: Sussex Sun page 2.
The Sussex depot was purchased by James and Lucille Henry and moved to its' present Main St. address on May 8, 1978. It was remodeled and opened for retail rental in 1979. (Author's note: Betty Mindemann remembers the inside of the Depot as being "unfinished" or "rustic". The paint now on the inside walls was first added by the Henry's after moving it to its' present location.)
"Old Sussex train depot opens soon" - In tearing apart the interior walls, Henry found bushels of coal, an old blue Western Union telegraph sign, porcelain on both sides, and inter-depot messages, one of which warned of hoboes riding the rails. Source: Sussex Sun, December 26, 1978, pages 3-4.
"Peppermint Junction - baggage room opens" - A two year old dream and a lot of work will be completed this weekend. The old N.W.R.R depot becomes the "Peppermint Junction Ice Cream Parlor and Baggage Room". A few finishing touches are necessary and final inspections are necessary. James and Lucille Henry, owners of the Country Store, moved the historic depot to a new site.
A special grand opening is scheduled for May 31 with the actual opened scheduled for Saturday, June 7. The Peppermint Junction Ice Cream Parlor will feature ice cream specialties, tea, coffee and light lunches; while the Baggage Room will sell greeting cards, books and paper items. Source: Sussex Sun, May 29, 1979, page 4.
1979/June 30 - Depot retail shops grand opening: Peppermint Junction Ice Cream Parlour, owned by the Mathev family, and Marie Deviller's , Baggage Room and Cards & Paper Goods stores. Source: Sussex Sun, June 17, 2003.
The Chicago and North Western Railway Company merged with the Union Pacific Railroad Company in April 1995.