Friday, June 12, 2015

Old Railroad Depots - Eastern Missouri

When we launched our May 2015 journey through several states to visit family and friends, one goal was to visit and photograph historic locations and railroad depots along the way.

The St. Louis Metropolitan area is a fertile location for railroad depots, trains and railroad history.  In addition to 14 depots old and new, the Museum of Transportation is a major attraction for railroad fans.  By far the major part of this museum is railroad focused.  To learn more about this over-the-top railroad museum which is located at 2967 Barrett Station Road in St. Louis County, go to

This was our first stop in our search for the many depots in the St. Louis area.  This is the former Missouri Pacific Railroad passenger depot at 44 North Gore Street in Webster Groves Missouri.  It’s currently being used by the Faith Academy of Montessori.  There is an old caboose on the opposite side of the old depot that has been integrated into the overall structure.  

This depot at 8835 Big Bend Boulevard is also located in Webster Groves Missouri.  It’s the 1910 passenger and freight depot for the old St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad, which was also known as the Frisco Railroad. 

Webster Groves' location on the old Pacific Railroad line led to its development as a suburb.  In the late 19th century, overcrowding, congestion, and unhealthy conditions in St. Louis prompted urban residents to leave the city for quieter, safer surroundings.  As a suburban municipality, Webster Groves originated as five separate communities along adjacent railroad lines.  Webster, Old Orchard, Webster Park, Tuxedo Park and Selma merged in 1896 to create the ‘new’ town.  Currently, Webster Grove has a population of about 23,000.

In 1994, the depot was saved from the wrecking ball by the Big Bend Railroad Club.  The club is a 2-Rail O Scale (1/4" to the foot) model railroad club that started in 1938.   The group has been in this building since the club started. To learn more about the club and public access or events, just go to

Since our visit I’ve learned that there is yet another old depot located in Webster Groves.  That depot, called the Tuxedo Park station, dates back to 1890.  I’ll have to find it during our next trip…

Note: Phyllis Diller and former Director of the FBI and CIA, William Webster are both from Webster Groves.  Then there's Karlie Kloss, a model from Webster Grove who made over $4 million in 2014.  

This is the former Missouri-Pacific Railway depot at 128 Front Street in Labadie Missouri.  Although the railroad laid tracks through Labadie to Washington Missouri in the mid-1850s, it’s believed that this combined use (passenger and freight) depot was built ca. 1890s. 

The tracks were later rerouted past Labadie and today this old depot serves as “Labadie Station – An Emporium of Curiosities/Art and Antiques”.  The building is in good shape and it looks like it’s being appropriately utilized!  To find out more about today’s Labadie Station, just go to

Labadie is an unincorporated community but it’s been around since a post office was established here back in 1855.  Laurie and I remember stopping at the shops and eating at a restaurant in this little tourist town back in the late 1970s. 

Just click on any of the photographs to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 


  1. Good post, Dave! There is so much history with all the old RR depots, some great structures and stories to go with it, the send-offs, soldiers on their way, and then they're return. A different way of life, and the depots back then were the communal hub. It's wonderful that you have visited so many.
    I love the first pic, the colors, the track up close and wondering what's around the bend. Great use of the one with the shop and Phyllis Diller and all, who would've thought! I'll be showing this to Bill, since he's a retired RR man!

  2. Having lived in St. Louis (and loved every minute of it) in the early 80s, we sadly never discovered this hidden treasure! If I ever get back to this great city, I hope to find what I missed during my busy days of new mom and full-time career gal. As we get older, we realize what we missed in our earlier days! Thanks for the great post Dave!