WASCO, OREGON
Depot History Center
 
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Hours: Fridays and Saturdays 1pm to 4pm from Memorial Day to October 1 and by appointment--call 541-442-5079

The depot complex sits in the center of Wasco and
houses the Wasco Railroad and City History Center.  Volunteers have worked to maintain this wonderful old depot.  Grants from the Sherman County Cultural Trust have helped make many of the improvements possible.

Inside the depot are
many photos of Wasco and the railroad in the "old days."  The city of Roseville, CA recently donated a large 12 ft. by 28 ft. 
"N" gauge model train layout complete with towns, farms, mountains, canyons, etc.  It arrived in 10 large crates, and volunteers are getting this exhibit up and running, hopefully with the help of a model railroad club (see progress photos below).

T
he depot is also used as a gathering point for Wasco's many town activites, such as the Memorial Day celebration, Wasco Salmon/Steelhead Tournament, Halloween fun house, and Santa's arrival.  Local home-school children use it for group activities.

Depot - Courtesy of Bill White

The Columbia Southern Railroad passenger station and freight warehouse was built in 1898.  The depot had 1100 square feet of living space for the station master and family.  In addition to a ticket office, the business side of the building has a freight warehouse and passenger waiting room; however the passengers could not walk directly from the waiting area to the platform.  The depot was constructed on a shoestring budget, and had no interior toilet!

Wasco's Last Station Agents - Jack and Patty Johnson
Click on the link below to listen to Carol MacKenzie's May 1, 2010 interview of Jack and Patty Johnson, Wasco's last station agents

Jack and Patty Johnson Interview

Outside the depot are a Union Pacific caboose, play structure and skate park.  There are picnic tables and BBQ areas for public use, and public restrooms close by.

Union Pacific caboose #24535 was built in October 1967.  The caboose operated as #17117 on the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad (CRI&P).  It was acquired by the Union Pacific Railroad following the bankruptcy of the CRI&P and in April 1980, and was repainted and renumbered #24535. It was retired from service on Aug. 22, 1989 and donated to the City of Wasco in September 1989.

The "N" gauge model railroad is starting to take shape...

 

INTERESTED IN WASCO HISTORY AND PEOPLE? Check out this list of articles from Sherman County: For The Record. (Thank you, Sherry Kaseberg!)

WASCO ARTICLES