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Holyoke train depot the 'largest and best between Lincoln and Denver' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

Featured on the January calendar page in the Enterprise’s commemorative 125th anniversary calendar is the train depot in Holyoke, a building that played a special role in the birth of the town.

In the summer of 1887, according to “Those were the Days...” history book, the Burlington and Missouri Railroad decided to build a line from Holdrege, Neb. to Cheyenne, Wyo., leading the way to the Town of Holyoke, which was laid out by the Lincoln Land Company that fall. The railroad reached the Nebraska state line Aug. 7, tracks were laid past Holyoke by Aug. 16 and it was nearing Sterling by Aug. 23.

It’s said Holyoke was named after Edward Holyoke, a son-in-law of G.W. Holdrege, then Burlington railroad system general manager.

Two railroad lines formed a junction at Holyoke, one from Holdrege to Akron and the other from Culbertson, Neb. to Cheyenne. By September, two trains ran both east and west every day. Workers were busy the fall of 1887 building a five-stall brick roundhouse and the fabulous $20,000 B&M Eating House with a big fireplace and polished hardwood ballroom floor. The two-story depot, 104 feet long by 32 feet wide (pictured above), was said to be the largest and best depot between Lincoln, Neb. and Denver and the largest and finest building in Holyoke, with the exception of the roundhouse, according to November 1887 newspapers.

On a single day, 90 people could be seen stepping off the train, coming to this new development from the East. Because of the railroad, Holyoke became a bustling town, with a population of 800 by the time it was incorporated 125 years ago on April 24, 1888.

Holyoke Enterprise January 17, 2013