Unless it can be moved soon, a century-old Rock Island Railroad depot in Perry, Arkansas will be torn down. It has taken a lot of negotiations with different entities, but a plan seems to be coming together to move the depot a couple hundred feet down the track onto a city-owned piece of land where we would like to restore it as a museum looking at the history of Perry County, as well as the important role the railroad once played in the community.
For 68 years passenger trains rolled through here, including the Rock Island's Choctaw Rocket, which ran between Memphis, Tennessee and Amarillo, Texas. Unlike other depots and passenger stations, this one was never abandoned after passenger service ended, which is why it's still in relatively good condition. It's the railroad's last wood-frame depot left in Arkansas and still features semaphore signals.
After the Rock Island was shut down in 1980, this became the home of the shortline Little Rock & Western Railway, which continues to operate a 79-mile stretch of track. In recent years the depot has only been used for storage. The railroad wants to expand a locomotive servicing facility on the property and has been giving us time to come up with plan to move the depot. You can read full details of the project on the link below.
A house-moving company has given us an estimate of $7,000 to $8,000 to complete the move. We'll also need to build a foundation for the building. The Perry County Historical & Genealogical Society has allocated $4,000 for the project, which will serve as the down payment for the company to complete the move. Afterward we'll need to pay the remaining balance. We'll also need to pay for a foundation. We're asking for $5,000, hoping that will cover the cost. That doesn't include the restoration work we'll be doing on the building itself. If any money is left over, it will got toward the restoration.
The Perry County Historical Museum, which is a non-profit 501(c)(3) is partnering with the Perry County Historical & Genealogical Society on this project. This is strictly a volunteer effort, there are no paid staff members, so all money raised will go strictly toward moving the Perry depot. http://hibblenradio.com/railroads/rock-island-in-arkansas/plan-coming-together-to-save-former-rock-island-depot-at-perry-arkansas/