Woodland Depot to Become a Rail Museum

~ by Bob Volpe ~


The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) last week discussed the possibility of turning the Woodland Depot, on Highway 24, into a museum housing memorabilia from the days when the depot was a stop for the Midland Railroad.

 DDA member Jerry Good said he had been doing some research on grants to pay for the project and that he came across a possible connection to get a locomotive to place on the site. He said, “Would that be
something we as the DDA would be looking at? There are grants available for things like that.”

Board chairperson Merry Jo Larson said, “That’s a great idea.” She mentioned Joe Moore, a local Midland Railroad collector, who would be a big help in getting a foothold on the planning of the project. She said, “We know Joe Moore lives here. He has an awesome collection of local Colorado Midland articles. He even has the ticket booth and he’s looking for a home, a museum for that.”

City Planning Director Sally Riley was in the audience and spoke about the city’s part in the idea. She said, “That is exactly what we are planning on doing.” She then gave a short talk about the city’s plans. She pointed out the photos on the wall of council chambers that show the evolution of the Midland Railroad and the depot. She spoke about the fire that took the east end of the depot and that the west end, which was the baggage area, was saved and remains, to this day, as the depot we see.

The Historical Preservation Committee has teamed up with The Ute Pass Historical Society to advance the idea of making the depot a museum as well. Riley said, “It’s going to take a large amount of funding to restore it. Our first step is that we have hired David Langley, who is assessing the building right now, and will create schematics for the museum and the renovation, so that we can then go after grants. So that’s our plan, and we have a little bit of funding in next year’s budget to be able to turn the schematics into designs and construction drawings, that then we can get building permits, should the grants come through.”

She went on to say Good’s idea of the locomotive goes nicely with the Midland Depot renovation idea.