HOBART | City officials on Thursday celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Pennsy Depot by harking back to Hobart's colonial past.
Mayor Brian Snedecor and Virginia Curtis ceremonially broke a twig in remembrance of the land transfer that took place between early founders and Native Americans, Mike Adams said.
A symbolic ribbon cutting followed.
"We'll start the next 100 years here," Adams said.
Adams, the Chamber of Commerce executive director, served as emcee for the brief rededication of the Penny Depot. The former depot has housed the chamber offices since 2005.
Curtis, who served on the Save Our Station Committee, said her group salvaged the abandoned railroad station, renovated it and then deeded it to the city.
"We had a lot of work to do. The building was in bad shape," Curtis said.
Adams called the rededication ceremony fitting for the former railroad station, 1001 Lillian St., because of its historical significance to the area and to the city.
The Pennsy Depot remains the hub of Hobart, much as it did when first opened as a station in 1912, Adams said.
"This has become a part of who we are," Adams said.
When the Pennsylvania Railroad-maintained station opened in 1912, it provided ready access to other parts of the country for both freight and passengers, Adams said.
Those passengers included soldiers heading out to defend their country from World War I to the Vietnam era.
The station was closed in 1968 after transportation modes changed and passenger and freight service dwindled, Adams said.
The one-story building, which features press brick produced at the Kulage Brickyard in Hobart, remained unused for some 19 years, Adams said.
In about 1986, a nonprofit group called Save Our Station was started by residents Curtis, Elin Christianson and several others to revitalize the building and return it to the city, Adams said.
The building was deeded back to the city in the late 1980s, Adams said.
Initially, the building was rented out to other businesses, including an antique shop and a camp store.