Kremmling railroad depot relocated in nick of time
Grand County Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
KREMMLING, Colorado ” Railroad enthusiasts, history buffs and community members watched Monday as the 102-year-old Kremmling Train Depot was put on wheels and rolled to its new location.
Oh, and the building just managed to dodge demolition.
“Lots of days we woke up and said, ‘Is this going to be the day we’re going to have to stop doing anything because it’s gone?’ ” said Yvonne Knox, Grand County Historical Association president.
“There were a lot of times when I thought: ‘One more call from the Union Pacific man and he’s going to say it’s being destroyed tomorrow.’ We were right down to deadline several times.”
Bailey House Movers of Grand Junction moved the 80-by-24-foot structure from the corner of Depot and Second streets. Dottie Barnes of Kremmling watched with her children, Sherry Steuben and Bob Barnes.
“We wanted to see it when it gets to U.S. Highway 40,” she said. “It’s fascinating to me how they do this.”
Workers from Mountain Parks Electric, Comcast and Quest lifted and moved power lines out of the way during the six-block route.
The depot’s destination was Grand County Historical Association Heritage Park, 1114 N. Fourth Street.
The Fishing Cabin and Pole Barn at the museum were moved to make room for the structure. The cost to transfer these buildings and the depot is about $30,000.
The Association plans to replace the chimney, portions of the building’s ceiling and renovate the interior.
The depot was built in 1906. It is the last remaining depot of its floor plan built by the Denver Northwestern and Pacific Railway.
“The building will be kept as historically correct as possible,” Knox said. “(It will) attract a whole different group of people than what we’ve attracted before.”
Francine Carpenter, 59, of Kremmling, has fond memories of the depot. Her father was a postmaster, and she would watch mail be delivered and picked up by the train in the late 1950s and early ’60s.
“That was our entertainment,” she said. “Going with dad, coming down and picking up the mail.”
She and her husband Dennis also were some of the last passengers to ride the train into Kremmling about 25 years ago, after the depot shut down.
“We thought it was crazy then that they wouldn’t stop,” Dennis said, “but they slowed way down.”
“We threw all our stuff out,” Francine added. “They didn’t want Denver to see that they stopped because then they could get busted.”
The Association took ownership of the building Aug. 26. It was able to save the building with assistance and donations from community members and groups.
Union Pacific Railroad donated $15,000, Grand County commissioners $10,000; Grand County Historical Association $5,000; and Grand Lake Historical Society $1,000.
In addition, Union Pacific Railroad abated asbestos found in the depot’s ceiling and scraped and sealed loose lead paint from the outside of the building.
More than 400 people signed a petition and raised more than $1,000.
“That to me indicates that a lot of people are interested in seeing train history saved,” Knox said.