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From: "jdent1 AT optonline DOT net" jdent1 AT optonline DOT net
Date: Fri, 27 Dec 2002 12:52:07 -0500
Subject: Kingsville, TX
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From the Corpus Christi Caller-Times=2E=2E

Kingsville gets on track to restore depot
Railroad museum should be complete by 2004

By Quincy C=2E Collins Caller-Times
December 27, 2002

KINGSVILLE - Community preservationists and Kingsville city officials have

put plans to restore the city's deserted train depot on track

With the help of $672,000 from the Texas Department of Transportation, the

train depot will be transformed into a railroad museum by 2004=2E The
restoration was selected as one of transportation department's Statewide
Transportation Enhancement Program in January

The $672,000 is part of a $155 million statewide program=2E Six programs i
the Corpus Christi area, including the Kingsville train depot restoration,

received more than $3 million=2E Other projects include the Port Aransas H
and Bike Trail, Rockport Pedestrian/Bicycle Pathway, Fulton Mansion Visito
Center, Bay Trails and Ingleside Pedestrian and Bicycle Pathway

"It's all about the spirit of cooperation," said Kingsville Mayor Phil
Esquivel=2E "We are able to bring a piece of history that built our city b
to town=2E"

The Kleberg County Historical Commission and the Kleberg County Heritage
Foundation, which owns the depot, have tried to restore the train depot on

Sixth Street since 1990

The death of several commission and foundation members derailed restoratio
plans=2E Plans were revitalized in June 2000 when Ben Glusing became
president of the Kleberg County Heritage Foundation and began pursuing the

transportation department grant

Glusing, a retired Kingsville attorney and state representative, said the
new museum will be the centerpiece of the county's centennial celebration
on July 4, 2004

"We count our birthdays from the time the train first pulled into the
depot," said Kathryn Evans, Kleberg County Heritage Foundation secretary
said=2E "Kingsville would not be here if the railroad did not come through

The first St=2E Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railroad train steamed throu
the Kingsville train depot on July 4, 1904=2E Area ranchers and railroad
workers marked the occasion with a Fourth of July celebration

The charter for the railroad was granted in June 1903 and work began a
month later at Robstown=2E A year and $9 million later, the railway was
completed and the Kingsville headquarters was opened

The railroad line stretched from Houston to Brownsville with branches from

Harlingen to the deep Rio Grande Valley and from Robstown to Corpus
Christi=2E In Robstown, the line joined the Texas-Mexican Railway

When the railway opened, there were 40 train depots including major
stations in Kingsville, Sarita, Bay City, Algoa, near Houston, and
Brownsville=2E Eventually, the railway was absorbed by Missouri-Pacific an
later Union Pacific=2E Kingsville's role as a railroad company town subsid
The last passenger train departed from the Kingsville train depot in 1966

Since then the depot has been used as a dispatching office, which closed i
the late '80s leaving the building vacant

The city of Kingsville is the agency in charge of restoring the depot and
is therefore responsible for financial planning and construction

The foundation is responsible for reimbursing the city 20 percent of the
cost, totaling $168,000 which was secured by local grants, Evans said=2E T
transportation department will reimburse the city for the other 80 percent

or a maximum of $672,000=2E Local donors included: The King Ranch Family
Trust, the Robert J=2E Kleberg Jr=2E and Helen C=2E Kleberg Foundation of
Antonio, the Ida L=2E Clement Family of Kingsville and the B=2EC=2E Brooks
and Addie Brookshire Charitable Foundation for Kleberg County

The project was awarded to Corpus Christi architectural firm Bennett,
Martin, Solka & Torno Inc=2E Architects restoring the train depot will ret
as much of the original construction while installing new lighting,
temperature control devices, restrooms and other modifications to make the

depot accessible to disabled people

Jack Solka, an architect with Bennett, Martin, Solka & Torno Inc=2E, said
architects will research the original construction through records and old


The foundation is accepting pictures, books, railroad equipment and
souvenirs from local families who trace their history to the railroad

"You can restore a building, but a museum depends on collecting artifacts,
Glusing said=2E "We have learned that people whose family were connected w
the railroad are vital=2E"

Carol Ann Anderson, Kingsville Convention and Visitor's Bureau executive
director, said the railroad museum will attract railroad and history

"It will enable us to look for a niche market of tourists," Anderson said

"With the three museums, we will be able to keep visitors in the city

Contact Quincy C=2E Collins at_886-3792 or collinsq@caller=2Ecom

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