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Society History

The Rockdale Historical Society was founded in 1998 with the vision of restoring the I&GN Depot and utilizing it as a museum to preserve, store, and share local and central Texas railroad history. 

Under the stipulations of the Texas Historical Commission, and with the help of funding from local citizens, Alcoa Aluminum Company, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the depot was purchased from Mr. Adolf McVoy in 1999.  Clean up and restoration began in 2000 and took more than 8 years to complete, almost entirely with volunteer efforts. 

Loyal member Gary Jackson undertook the painstaking task of recreating and constructing the original cupola which was reinstalled atop the depot. He accomplished this with little more than antique photos of the original 1906 depot, and dimensions of the roof structure to work with. An incredible feat, which helped to restore the depot's historic integrity and beauty. This task was completed in line with the renovation of the building, and with the help of several local businesses. 

During the restoration process another dedicated member, railroad engineer, and lifetime Rockdale resident Bert Dockall, spearheaded the acquisition of a Missouri Pacific Caboose, and Missouri Pacific Dining Car named "The Cheyenne Mountain." These were relocated and placed on rails behind the depot building, and over time restored as close as possible to their initial specifications.

Glen Banzhaf, retired signalman and volunteer, facilitated the installation of two working railroad signals on the property.  Louie Edelmon, a volunteer skilled in many trades, assisted in the restoration of several key signs, SA&AP depot bench, and notably, the RS&S bell.

These names are a few among many who have poured heart and soul into the mission stated at our organization's inception. Pat Jackson has volunteered her time and intellect as Treasurer for over 18 years. Through the ebbs and flows of life, economy, volunteers, and circumstance we continue to endeavor to preserve history and share enrichment for our residents, and those who travel through our town. 

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