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AROUND TOWN: Canton’s railroad history lives on

In our latest around town we’re back in Fulton County but heading South.

Donnie Tillman explains how you may miss out on an important piece from the past, if you’re just driving through town.

Fulton County’s largest city, Canton, Illinois.

Sitting right off State Roads 9 and 78, a symbol of the city’s rich railroad history.

“Canton and Fulton County itself is one of the leading producers of coal in the world. The rail system in this area was vital to the war effort and the economy of Fulton County.” says Mayor Kent McDowell.

Just steps away the famous Canton Railroad Depot, which still serves as a major stop for the Old Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroads.

“This train station was the premiere station between St. Louis and Minneapolis when it was built in 1914.”.

Even playing a vital part for those who served our country.

“In the second world war, soldiers said their goodbyes here and they were brought back to be laid to rest.”.

Over the years, Mayor Kent McDowell says demand for the railway declined.

Before service came to a halt in the 70’s.

But, in 2000 the station reopened with a new purpose, the home for city council.

“Love that we have our meetings in there, love that a lot of people enjoy the train station.”.

A constant reminder of the history within these walls.

“After the meeting, it’s still fun, I still do this, I still walk around and I read some of the plaques and look at some of the pictures and just kind of admire.”.

In addition to the Canton City Council, the mayor says the station is also a popular venue for various local events.

Donnie Tillman

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