September 20, 2017CAPAC — One hundred years ago the Capac Depot was bustling with passenger and freight traffic where it stood on the north side of the tracks, just west of Main Street. It served its purpose for 59 years and the doors to the 1914 structure were closed in October 1973.
The depot gained new life and a new home in 1988 when the Capac Historical Society bought it for a dollar and moved the depot to their property on E. Kempf Ct.
To honor the building's special history, the society secured a Historical Marker for the depot which will be dedicated this Saturday at 4 p.m.
Last year, the Michigan Historical Commission determined that the depot qualified for the marker and earlier this year the historical society reached its fundraising goal of $5,000 to purchase, ship and install the monument.
The two-sided marker begins by laying out Capac's history, noting
that a rail line and depot were first opened in the village in 1870, three years before the village was actually incorporated. A portion of the marker reads:
The first depot, built north of the tracks, burned down in 1880 and a second brick depot was built south of the tracks. It was declared unsafe and replaced by a third depot north of the tracks in the 1890s. After Capac's third railroad depot was destroyed by fire on January 9, 1914, the Grand Trunk Railroad Company build this wood-frame station north of the tracks, just south of Railroad Street. Opened on October 17, 1914, the station provided passenger and freight service. Its telegraph office brought the latest news to the village. The depot closed on October 8, 1973. In 1987 the Capac Community Historical Society bought the depot for one dollar under the condition that it relocated the building.
On October 21, 1988,
the society moved the depot in two parts to this site, about three-fourths
of a mile northeast of its original location, and began rehabilitating
the station for reuse as
a museum. The depot reopened as the
Capac Community Historical Museum in 1994.
The depot is now home to Kempf's Model City and many of the society's other collections and displays.
A social hour is slated for 5 p.m. followed by a 6 p.m. potluck dinner, the museum's official Fall Fundraising Dinner. Organizers are asking for a $5 donation to attend the dinner. Guests will then be entered into a drawing for door prizes.
At 7 p.m. a speaker and live music is planned.
The museum is located at 401 E. Kempf Ct. For more information, call the museum at 395-2859.
Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she and her family reside in the Capac area where she enjoys gardening and reading.