Milwaukee Railroad Depot
The Milwaukee Depot was built as part of the Southern Indiana Railroad in 1899 by John R. Walsh in Bedford, Indiana. Walsh, a banker from Chicago, built the railroad to get Indiana Limestone to market and in the process made it a preferred building product across the Nation. In 1921 the station came under the control of the Milwaukee Road and served family members and loved ones for nearly seven decades as they stood and waved to passengers boarding the trains. The last passenger train to leave the Bedford, Indiana station was on July 15, 1950.
Vacant and outside of the City’s core, the Milwaukee Depot fell into scattered and non-profitable uses, as well as disrepair. It became clear the preservation of the Depot would be dependent upon its relocation nearer the Cities urban core. Time was not in the Depot’s favor, as damage from water infiltration had rotted the roof, floor, and wall construction, some to the point of failure.
Renovation of the French tile roof in 2007 slowed the deterioration. However, it was not until the City, the Indiana Department of Transportation, and other parties determined the Depot was eligible for Indiana’s remaining Transportation Enhancement Act funds that it’s future was secured.
The restoration of the Milwaukee Depot saved an iconic and significant piece of Bedford’s history and architecture. Now the Depot has a new life as a focal point for local celebrations, serving as a trail head on the newly built Limestone Trail, offices for the Southern Indiana Geographical and Historical System organization, and home to collections of the Land of Limestone Museum.
The historic 1899 historic train depot is now used by the City as a Visitor Center and Trail Head
Increase in visitors with new location of train depot
Increase in foot traffic and hikers with new trail head starting at depot
Added value to City with facility used as community center for business meetings, local events, and family gatherings