Cotton Belt Depot History

Cotton Belt Depot History

Before a year or so of the 1880's had passed, rumors of a railroad for Gatesville became a reality.  Citizens organized to persuade the Cotton Belt to extend it's tracks to Gatesville with a cash offer of $30,000.  The money was easily raised and land was donated to give the town two trains daily, both passenger and freight.  Gatesville became the terminus of the line, making the town the feeder for the whole county.  The town began making strides that nearly quadrupled her population, size, and business in ten years.

Built in 1910, the Cotton Belt Depot has earned a historical place in the local community.  The Depot served Gatesville and the surrounding community until the early 1970’s when train service was discontinued.

The Cotton Belt Railroad's freight service into Gatesville ended as of 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, November 16th, 1972.  The St. Louis Southwester (Cotton Belt) Railway ended more than 80 years of service when the last locomotive pulled a couple of freight cars and a caboose out of the depot at 3:40 p.m.

The building sat unused until the early 1980’s when purchased by a commercial business, title for the 21,375 sq. ft. (0.5 acre) of property and building was transferred to the Gatesville Chamber of Commerce.  Since the early 80’s, the Gatesville Chamber of Commerce has operated from this location, serving Gatesville and the surrounding communities by promoting commerce and assisting many travelers and local citizens with its services.

In 2007 major renovations were begun to repair damage caused by age and deterioration.  Repairs to the roof, attic and exterior bracing have been completed.  In 2008 work began on the interior of the building and included fresh paint both inside and out. 

Website by CT Design Online