Progress as told by Bob Rees
Return Of The Oregon Depot Gang
Spring brought about a revisit from the Oregon Depot Gang, which is made up of Oregon alumni who have moved away but return once a year to work on the depot and renew old friendships. This was the third year that this group of volunteers participated in a week of work at the depot, and their primary accomplishment this year was the stripping of paint from the beautiful 90-year-old oak woodwork and the re-installation of window sashes with new sash rope. They also began the re-installation of woodwork that had previously been removed for plaster repair. About 90% of the paint stripping has been completed. Rewards for the depot restoration effort included a dinner provided by the City of Oregon and many fine meals prepared by depot volunteers.
Burlington Route Historical Society
Early spring brought the Burlington Route Historical Society for their annual Spring Meet to Oregon, using the City Coliseum for the swap meet, dinner and program. The depot was open for tours for this group and it was a busy place for the afternoon. There was a dual projector slide presentation about Oregon, and it included the story of the Oregon Depot Restoration. The BRHS presented the Depot Museum with a framed photograph of the Dinky that shuttled cars between Oregon and Mt. Morris, and made a generous financial contribution to the Museum.
Making Use of the Depot
In the spring an adult education class covering the Oregon Depot and its restoration was sponsored by Rock Valley College and presented by Bob Rees. The class of 30 actually convened in the depot itself. The program was professionally video recorded and is available in DVD or VHS format from the Oregon Chamber of Commerce
In August the North Western Illinois Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society held a monthly meeting in the Oregon Depot and it was well attended and enjoyed by all.
As in previous years, the depot was open for tours during the Autumn-on-Parade Fall Festival and for the Annual Christmas Candle Walk, thanks to Darlene Schultz and her tireless effort.
More Donations to the Museum
Various railway equipment items were received as donations during the past year. Among those items are the CTC dispatcher’s console from the old Savannah Tower (donated by the Thomson Depot Museum), an American Express baggage cart (donated by Dr. Mark Myers and his father), the original Roy Sharick telegrapher’s key (donated by Jim Purcell), and a complete set of telegrapher’s hardware (donated by ex-CB&Q; employee Russ Hanson).
Other contributions include the assistance of the City of Oregon with reconstructed doors for the depot, including four waiting room entry doors and two freight doors.
As they had for the past three years, Sinnissippi Forest again donated a beautiful tree for display in our waiting room. The brightly decorated tree was lit every evening during the entire Holiday Season.