~Winter 2013~

Annual Hobo Feed

The annual Hobo Feed was held on October 12th. This event was started as a fund raiser for the depot soon after its early restoration several years ago. The Hobo culture is part of railroad history and the annual supper serves as a reminder of that. We have historical information at the depot relating to Hobo life. Our menu consisted of hobo stew, cornbread, vegetable sticks, home-made pies and coffee. We were fortunate to have a beautiful day and many ate outside and enjoyed the depot surroundings.

Eldon Christmas celebration

Our next event was the Eldon Christmas Celebration. The museum was open all three days of the celebration in December. Cookies and coffee were served. We had many visitors who enjoyed our museum displays, Thomas the Train play area and the caboose. Both our furnace systems are working wonderfully and we had a pleasant, warm environment for our Christmas visitors.

Historical additions adjacent to the Depot building

The depot is currently working to add historical information outside the building which would indicate where significant sites were located. Our first project is the Doodlebug site. The Doodlebug was a single car, gasoline powered, electric train that carried passengers from Eldon to Des Moines. It ran Monday through Friday, carrying passengers both ways. It was a four hour trip each way. In later years, the Doodlebug ran a shortened route between Eldon and Ottumwa. It was the smallest full train on the Rock Island system. The loading pad remains today and you can enjoy a past picture of Eldon and the doodlebug, along with historical facts at our outside display.

We soon will have a second working signal on the depot property. Hopefully, Iowa’s winter weather will soon allow final installation.

Regular hours and individual tours

The depot remains open Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 9 AM for morning coffee. Individual tours can also be arranged by contacting our manager Fred Thomas at 641-652-7217. We hope to resume summer week-end hours again this year.