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Once a train station, Mendon’s city building carries rich history

February 3rd, 2012 Posted in Arts and Life

By Josh Ruggles

MENDON — Mendon city has had multiple historic buildings since it was founded in 1859, most of which are now gone. The Mendon Station is one of the last ones standing. It was initially a depot for the Utah-Idaho Central Railroad and, since been renovated and updated, now serves as the city’s community center.

When it was built it was a unique train station for its time, said Paul Willie, the Mendon resident responsible for renovating the station.

“The station was funded and owned by David Eccles, an entrepreneur at the turn of the century,” Willie said. “He owned several railroads including the UIC. But one of the interesting things about the building is it was among the first brick train stations in the area. Most of the wooden train stations are no longer there but several of the brick ones are still around,”

The Mendon Station was built between 1916 and 1917 and was in operation for three decades, when it ceased operations in 1947. The station linked Mendon to other parts of Utah including Logan, Ogden and Brigham City, and also connected to Preston, Idaho. Since the train had passenger cars along with freight capabilities, it was utilized for not only travel, but to import and export goods.

It was an integral part in keeping Mendon connected as well as the reason that Mendon received electricity, said Mendon Station historian Rodney Sorensen.

“The train is the only reason Mendon got power,” Sorensen said. “It was run by electricity, not by a diesel motor. Before the train, everyone used coal for their lanterns and things, so it was kind of link from old to new.”

After the railroad shut down operations, the building was used in several other capacities. It has been a fire station two separate times, a restaurant, and at one time was an apartment on one end and a post office on the other. When it was a fire station, the city built a cinderblock expansion on the south wing for extra space. But during renovation that was demolished, as it was not part of the original building.

Spearheaded by Willie, the renovation was completed in July 2006 and the structure converted to a multi-use city building. Current uses include city council meetings, weddings and even karate classes.

“I am just delighted at what they did to renovate that place, we need something from the old times,” Sorensen said. “It is pretty exciting that it is coming up on its hundredth year birthday.”


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