By Thomas Palmer
With Saturday being Depot Day, with festivities centered around the venerable Big Four Depot on Washington Street, the Depot seemed to be a natural topic for today’s Galion History Corner.
For more information on Depot Day, visit this link.
The city of Galion was full of pent up excitement as Christmas came and went in December 1900. The reason? As the periodical Railroad Age shared, Galion was seeing the opening of its new $20,000 railroad depot, a building which measured 124 by 52 feet in size.
The Mansfield News Journal covered the opening festivities, which took place on Thursday, December 27, 1900. Quizzically, the first mention took place the next day in a short notice buried on an inside page:
“The new Big Four depot at Galion at Galion was formally dedicated Wednesday night.The structure has twenty apartments and all modern conveniences and is one of the best railway stations in the state. When will Mansfield have the pleasure of participating in the dedication of a long-needed new depot?”
Obvious sour grapes there, which might account for mixing up the day. On January 4, 1901, the paper corrected itself and shared this description of the the Depot’s opening:
“Thursday evening, Dec. 27, the new Big Four depot was dedicated and opened to the public. An occasion which shall be long remembered by the people of Galion and vicinity. The rooms were beautifully decorated with holly, smilax, and palms. Both the interior and outside were lighted with gas and incandescent lights, which added much beauty to the structure. Despite the inclemency of the weather, the room and platform outside were crowded. The program rendered was excellent. The music was furnished by Dr. Todd’s band. The Big Four officials who were present were the following: Judge S.O. Bayless, C.O. Short, Jacob Archer, Walter P. Deppe, George W. Killrege, Charles Krotzenberger, Supt. T. J. Higgins, Assistant Superintendent Albert Ingalls and Trainmaster Ed. Kinney. President Ingalls, having other duties to perform, was unable to be present.”
Each Saturday, we share a post about local history. We call this series “Galion History Corner,” and we will be sharing not only stories about our shared heritage but also updates on history news here in southeast Crawford County.
This series is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Bernard M. Mansfield, whose “Your Historical Galion” was a fixture in weekend editions of the Galion Inquirer. Dr. Mansfield was a friend and family physician, and he inspired the current generation of Galion historians to continue his work.