The Vandalia Leader

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Farber Depot

The Farber Depot is one of the only remaining depots remaining in the Vandalia area after it was preserved in the middle of the last decade.

The train depot closed in 1972, was restored, and is currently opened at certain times of the year by Farber Community Betterment.

Two years ago, Carl Hirst of Mexico, a former worker at the depot, visited his former place of employment with the excitement of a kid in a candy store.

Hirst, whose name remains on a list of employees on the wall in the telegraph room, worked 25 years in the industry before retiring in 1987, following in the footsteps of his father John who worked 55 years. Hirst said Harry Leet was the last agent to work in the depot, which was built in 1880.
He said the depot is one of the few in the country to still have original furniture in it and is one of the few restored depots from the old Alton-Chicago line.
He added that the bulletin board with the title “The Alton” appears to be the original one put in place in 1880.


Other items on display at the depot included CBC scrapbooks, old Farber newspapers, receipts, an original stop on red signal, among several other pieces of memorabilia.

The original telephone and telegraph setup are still in place and the upstairs sleeping quarters still remains in tact.
Several years ago, the railroad industry went through most towns and tore down old depots unless cities wanted to move them away from the tracks to restore them.