QUEEN CITY OF THE WABASH
The Ferguson train depot was designated a Ferguson Landmark in 1985. It dates to at least 1885.
Railroads used standard plans for their small track-side stations, repeating them over and over throughout the Midwest. The North Missouri Railroad built this station. Board and batten siding was chosen as it used less lumber and fewer nails than lap siding. Large roof support brackets and a projecting bay helped to relieve the tedium of the plain exterior. The bay allowed ticket agents to see passing trains.
By 1904, forty-two trains a day served commuters and eight special trains a week provided access to social and theater events in St. Louis. The station commanded an important twenty-four hour freight junction with eight tracks for switching trains until 1948. Business people worked in St. Louis and could live away from the problems of a big city. Commuters brought home fifty-pound casks of sugar, flour and other staples. The station also served as Ferguson's first public meeting place. The first Protestant church service in Ferguson was held in the station in 1867 with a minister of the Maline Creek Church. First Presbyterian Church was the first congregation to organize, holding their first meetings here. Citizens registered to vote and cast their ballots at the depot. The telegraph office brought communication. Signal crews used the station until 1988. When the railroad abandoned use of the building, Ferguson immediately began negotiations to acquire the station.
From a quote hanging on the same wall:
"Wabash sounds clocked Ferguson life. Trains whistles sounded the fire alarms, joyously announced the end of two world conflicts and heralded each new year. The bells of her commuter trains were magic, starting a parade of citizens racing to their day's work in St. Louis. Evening meals were set at the sound of the train's approach." - Robert J. Mueller
From a narrative written by Virginia Penn Kelley, 1952, also hanging on the wall:
The Ferguson railroad station was built in 1855, and consisted of four rooms. On the south was a waiting room for the ladies and in the center was the telegrapher's office presided over by Miss Lizzie Schatz. The rear of her office held the batteries for the telegraph system. On the other side of the office was the men's waiting room and a baggage room. The station was named after William B. Ferguson who donated the right-of-way along the south end of his property. "On the condition that the station would be erected and called 'Ferguson Station'. And so it was that the community took its name from the railroad stop."