Perry Rock Island Depot Restoration

$6,010 of $9,000 goal

Raised by 70 people in 14 months
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/ 
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Hi all,

I wanted to share good news that we've recently learned in the effort to preserve the Rock Island depot at Perry, Arkansas. In a couple of weeks we'll be awarded a state grant of nearly $10,000 which will enable us to complete the move of the depot to an adjacent lot, Much of the money is matching donations we've received in the past, so in essence we're being able to double the donations we've received thanks to supporters like you.

You can read the latest on our campaign here:


Thanks! Michael
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I'm past due for an update on our effort to preserve the Rock Island's Perry, Arkansas depot. We've completed the first phase of the project, which was for the house moving company to remove the depot from its current location to keep it from being town down. Now we will build a new foundation on an adjacent lot for the depot to be placed on.

I've written a full update with photos of the move on my website:


Sunday evening I'm hosting a fundraiser for the depot at the White Water Tavern in Little Rock, 2500 W. 27th Street, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. A few musician friends are volunteering to perform and everything we make at the door will go toward the project. You can read more here:


Preserve Arkansas, which last year named the depot one of the state's 10 Most Endangered Places, is helping us promote the event. The group is also providing guidance as we aspire to get the depot on the National Register of Historic Places. We're asking for a $10 donation at the door. If you have been one of our supporters, I'd love to meet you to say thanks!

It's worth noting that the Rock Island's main line heading west from Biddle Yard ran right by the White Water Tavern. It's an area where the Rock Island and Missouri Pacific were right beside one another with two railroad overpasses above 7th Street.

Let me know if you have any questions or advice as we proceed on the project and if you know anyone who might be interested in helping, please share this with them.

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Thanks to everyone who has donated to help in our effort to preserve the former Rock Island depot at Perry, Arkansas.

On Sunday, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette wrote a great story about the campaign, along with the good news that paperwork has been finalized to allow us to move the depot from its current location to save it from being demolished.


I'll share a date on when the move will take place. We will still need to continue fundraising to cover the rest of the expense to the house moving company, but we have made tremendous progress.
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I've got good news on our effort to save the Rock Island depot at Perry, Arkansas. The Little Rock & Western Railway has approved our plans and provided us with an asset purchase agreement. Assuming the city now agrees to the paperwork, we'll buy the depot for $10 and be free to move it to a neighboring lot along the railroad tracks. You can read details on the link:


Thanks to everyone who has donated and helped make this happen! We're now stepping up fundraising efforts to pay for the next phase of the project. Please share this with others who can help!
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$6,010 of $9,000 goal

Raised by 70 people in 14 months
Funds raised will benefit:
Perry County Historical Museum
Certified Charity
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Perryville, AR
EIN: 202373844
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