The Jefferson Depot Village

Depot History

In the Beginning…

On the tenth day of June, 1863, the stockholders of the Cleveland, Painesville and Ashtabula railroad company agreed to the extension of the railroad line through Ashtabula county, connecting with the Jamestown and Franklin Division at the State line. To induce the railroad to come through Jefferson, local citizens led by E.B. and H.B. Woodbury secured the right-of-way and space for the depot. Work commenced in the spring of 1864.

On August 4, 1872, the first passenger train steamed into the Village of Jefferson, the County Seat of Ashtabula County.

In 1879, there were 14,635 passengers leaving from the Jefferson station with a revenue derived of $6,214 (Present approximate population is 3,000) In 1902, there were fifteen passenger trains stopping daily plus many freight trains. Most of the county residents came by train to pay their taxes and one of the first sidewalks built in Jefferson ran from the depot to the courthouse to accommodate our ancestors.

The last scheduled stop occurred in August, 1956. The express office closed in 1960 and the freight office closed in 1961.

Jefferson Depot, Inc. was formed to restore, maintain and promote the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad Station and other historic buildings and engage in the education and instruction of its members and the general public on a non-profit basis.

With your help, the Jefferson Depot has expanded into an historic 19th century educational "living history" Village, complete with an 1888 Victorian House, the historic 1872 Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad Station and 1918 Caboose, the 1848 "Church in the Wildwood" and 1849 Church Barn (possibly early Firehouse), the 1838 Spafford One-room Schoolhouse, Girl's and Boy's separate Outhouses,  Hohn's General Store, the 1860 Pharmacy, the 1845 Sheffield Post Office, the Benetka Blacksmith Shop, Jonathan Warner's Tavern,  the 1879 Carriage House,  Village Bandstand and the 1860 Library/Welcome Center.   State officials are trying to locate a steam locomotive for the depot village.

GUIDED TOURS every Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, 10 to 4 p.m., June, July, August, September, until October 15. Group tours are available upon request. There are also facilities available for other groups to meet.  The 1848 "Church in the Wildwood" is available for weddings.  Call 440-576-0496 to reserve the church or depot.  Donations are appreciated.

         TOURS Start at the Depot and include all the restored buildings.

Visit the historic 1872 Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad Station (better known as the Jefferson Depot) at 147 East Jefferson Street, Jefferson, Ohio. This unique 120-foot station with its ornate architecture of a bygone era, the exclusive "ladies waiting room," the operational wall-hung flush tanks, and the original potbelly stove are waiting for you. Take a stroll through the 1918 Tuscon Red Caboose and relive the days of our ancestors.

 The Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad Station was placed on the National Register of historic Places at a dedication ceremony in 1983 by the National Park Service, United States Department of Interior. It is owned by the Jefferson Depot, Inc., a non-profit organization with membership open to the public.

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See the restored 1848 "Church in the Wildwood" (the original first Methodist Episcopal church built in Jefferson) at the depot village. This quaint church is available for weddings. Next to the church is the 1849 Barn, built for the circuit rider minister. (Possibly the early Jefferson firehouse with it's curved doors and shields on all the windows.) Enter the 1838 Spafford One-room Schoolhouse thru the appropriate door - girls on the left and boys on the right. The wooden blackboard still has the original music staff visible.  Schedule an 1890 field trip and attend school, tour the depot village buildings and listen to the storyteller relate early Jefferson history. 

Step Back in Time as you enter the 1860 Pharmacy, the 1845 Sheffield Post Office, Hohn's General Store, Jonathan Warner's 1816 Tavern, and the 1888 Victorian House in the historic 19th Century Jefferson Depot Village.

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We invite you to join with us in the fun and fellowship of our monthly meetings at 7:00 p.m.and free diversified programs held at the depot the first Monday of every month at 8:00 p.m.. We strive to preserve a part of our heritage for present and future generations, bringing enjoyment and historical pleasure to many.

The Jefferson railroad station has once again become a center of activities with educational programs, hands-on workshops, meetings, tours, reunions and weddings. An annual "Strawberry Festival – Craft Bazaar" and Antique Car Show the 3rd weekend in June, an 1890 reenactment festival, "Early America LIVE" the 2nd weekend in July, an "Old fashioned Williamsburg Christmas Party" the first Saturday in December, and monthly programs are all open to the public.

Devoted members and friends volunteer regularly on Mondays and Thursdays, diligently restoring these priceless gems of a bygone era.  You're invited to come help save and restore these historic buildings any day you can come.  Want to be a re-enactor or tour guide?  Welcome any time.   We are seeking volunteers with computer skills.  Please call 614-507-5246 or e-mail application to duttonjg@hotmail.com.

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