Thursday, November 29, 2018

Corvallis Train Depot History


I'm always amazed by the process of moving an entire building to a new site.  That act seems even more amazing when the building is not a wood frame home but a large stone building.
In 1909-10, a new railroad depot of cast stone (concrete blocks shaped to look like stone) was constructed along the Southern Pacific tracks at Ninth Street and Washington Avenue in Corvallis. The old wood-framed depot (now Depot Suites) was moved to Seventh Street to serve as a freight depot.
The move to the new location at Sixth Street
and Monroe Avenue took three weeks.
In June of 1917, the Southern Pacific Railroad extended its interurban electric rail line to Corvallis.  Powered by overhead electric lines, the red cars carried passengers north to Portland four times per day. To accommodate passengers on this line, the stone depot was moved.  The building was raised off its foundation then pulled by a team of mules.
The Corvallis train depot in its new location circa 1920.
The Southern Pacific discontinued the “Red Electric” service in 1929 and all passenger service to Corvallis in 1933.  In 1956, the city of Corvallis purchased the building for use by the police department.  The building deteriorated and was scheduled to be demolished but it was sold and moved to yet another location in May 1982.  This move involved tight maneuvering through downtown Corvallis, watched by many.
Moving Southern Pacific Train Depot in Corvallis
Photo by Joe Malango
But this time it took only one day to relocate the building to 603 N. Second Street (between Taylor and Polk).   From 1963 through 2008, it housed the Michael's Landing restaurant.

Two other restaurants followed before the Spaghetti Factory opened in the renovated building in 2014.
By Martha Fraundorf, Volunteer for Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon

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