WoW ! Weather is cooler and it is the time of year we open the doors of the historic depot and have our annual pancake day during the Iron Horse Festival. This year we will be serving from 7:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. September 29th in the big waiting room at the historic depot 400 S. Main Street.
In addition from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. we will also offer fried green tomatoes and grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Tickets are $5 each – you will need two tickets to participate in both events. Total cost for participation in both events is $10 per person. Tickets can be purchased in advance from any Depot Board member or can be purchased at the door. We also accept cash. All proceeds will go to operate and restore the historic depot. Join us and help us and Downtown Poplar Bluff celebrate the annual Iron Horse Festival.
New guttering is on its way — new lights for interior of Amtrak waiting room will be coming. Beautiful landscaping by the Poplar Bluff Garden Club is continuing. Donate your time and money to help us keep going on the restoration of this historic depot and site.
You can now access the depot from both directions, the city has made several streets 2-way again. Pay attention to new traffic patterns!
We have special paving bricks that are from the chimney in the depot that were manufactured in Coffeyville, KS prior to 1930. They are known for making paving bricks for train depots! You can purchase 1 or many we are asking $2/ea.
We also have extra balustrades from when they poured the replicas for the depot staircase and we are offering them to people who would like to share a piece of our history. 2 together might make a great bench. $25/ea
Grand Staircase has been completed and dedicated. Landscaping has been progressing well and is looking very pretty. Photographers are once again taking pictures and if you are on Facebook you may have seen some of the more recent postings. The Depot Board and others have been working on the interior and cleaning up the outside of the depot. A lot of work needs to be done. We are fighting an uphill battle with those who still want to use the depot for personal and destructive purposes, but we are not giving up. A cleaning day was scheduled for August 3, 2017 and quite a bit of cleaning was done. More cleaning/work days will be scheduled. The old big waiting room is available for nominal rent. We still have some rejected balustrades for sale, old rough lumber, and old bricks. If you are interested in purchasing these, please contact Jim Chrisman 573-300-9303. We also have a nice metal sign that can be refurnished for sale. We need to move them out to make room for further improvements. If you know of a business or you are a business that is looking for a location near downtown, please consider the depot. Again, the contact on this is the number above for Jim Chrisman. Membership is available in the depot committee for $10 per year. Membership fees can go a long way in helping the Depot meet its overhead expense of insurance, cleaning supplies, and parking lot lease.
Volunteer hours are still available – cleaning, scraping windows, etcetera. If you cannot invest a lot of money, maybe you have time that you can invest. Let us keeping working on this along with downtown Poplar Bluff and get our city updated as some of our surrounding communities have, but more importantly to increase our own self-esteem and pride in Poplar Bluff.
The Grand Staircase has been completed. Join us for celebration and dedication on May 13, 2016, 11:30 a.m. 400 S. Main Street in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. We are so happy to announce the completion of this project which began its journey to completion in March 2010 when a few dedicated citizens of Poplar Bluff begin to meet monthly and formulate plans and raise funds to get the project completed. Help was solicited through a grant received from Missouri Department of Transportation but the citizens, civic organizations, and businesses gave a huge support to the project contributing in excess of $115,000. Smith & Co were the engineers for the design and construction phases. Concrete Strategies of St. Louis, Missouri were the contractors who constructed the new Grand Staircase. Project was finished in early December 2015 and is now open to the public again. This is a beautiful replica of the original Grand Staircase which was constructed in 1910 and has been on the National Historic Register. Beautiful tourist site — put it on your itinerary as you travel through Southeast Missouri.
For pictures during construction and the finished Grand Staircase visit us on Facebook, Poplar Bluff Historic Depot Corporation -Depot Steps Committee.
Be sure to thank those you come in contact with for the efforts put forth by the Community and former Poplar Bluffians to get this project completed.
The annual meeting of the corporation was held on January 16, 2015. New directors elected were: Paula Gowen, David Johnson, and Marge Van Praag. Directors re-elected were Jim Chrisman and Sharon Fraser. You may join as a member of the corporation by paying $10 per year membership fee.
Grand Staircase is still seeking funding. See separate post.
March 7th — we will have a group of 45 students from Illinois State University – will arrive on evening of March 6th. Three meals will need to be provided plus overnight sleeping bag arrangements with shower facilities. They will work on removing the old floor and chimney from the north end of the building.
Funding and volunteers — still needed. A $500 grant from the grand opening of the Walmart Neighborhood Market has been received. Volunteers are needed on an ongoing basis to help with all phases of restoration.
Landscaping – the PB Garden Club with the help of the City Park Department planted three Poplar trees and several hundred bulbs off the south end of the parking lot. As the staircase project is completed, additional landscaping projects are being planned. If you have in interest in landscaping to make this a special area for Poplar Bluff, get involved in this project.
Iron Mountain Market — the new year will see a significant change in the Farmers Market activity.
Workshop — A temporary woodworking shop is being set up in the south end of the building to provide capabilities for the renewal project. We expect to be able to make the moldings needed in restoration.
Silent Auction is being planned in the near future. Stay tuned for more details.
We are open to productive uses for the building. Give us your ideas.
We went to bids two times in 2014 and both times bids had to be rejected because of unavailable funds and excess over estimated costs. In December 2014 MoDOT gave an additional grant and now we are in the process of raising our second group of matching funds. As of this date, we need approximately $15,000 in order to go to bid at the end of February 2015. Contributions are still needed to pay notes and other expenses — please keep them coming. Federal/State are willing to invest in the future of Poplar Bluff in restoring this landmark. We, the citizens of Butler County need to step up and do our part — keep the contributions coming — PO Box 33, Poplar Bluff, MO. 63902. Checks can be made payable to PBHDRC or you may pay through Paypal. Questions can be addressed on Facebook – Poplar Bluff Historic Depot Restoration Corporation.
MoDot grant has been approved. We need your support in obtaining the required matching funds. Please send contributions to PO Box 33, Poplar Bluff, MO -63901 PHHDRC – thanks shirley d
As a part of the DREAM City initiative, Poplar Bluff worked with PGAV to develop a plan for renovation and redevelopment of the downtown area. As a part of this plan, an illustration of how the staircase and depot area could be renewed for use today. Here are images of the staircase as it looks now – in need of repair, and in the PGAV plan with new landscaping and masonry work.
Current condition of the stairway.
Depot Stairway Restoration & Landscaping Plan