The Oregon Depot now stands as a treasured railroad museum. Visitors can experience recreated history which has been meticulously restored. A new covered, vintage styled viewing platform is planned for June, 2016. This will allow comfortable viewing of passing trains on this busy stretch of rail, and also serve as a trail-head for bicyclists riding the eight described loops through the communities of Ogle County (See bikeogle.org )
The depot that still stands today was built by the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railway in 1913. In the mid-1930’s, the Burlington introduced the streamlined transcontinental Zephyrs, which were the express trains of their day. The trip from Oregon to Chicago took only one hour twenty-six minutes! These trains, in addition to the regular traffic, kept Oregon a busy little city. On occasion, special excursion trains also came to Oregon; in 1939, the “Jack Frost” cycle train brought riders with their bicycles from Chicago, to be fed by the Blackhawk Grange before cycling the twenty miles north to Davis Junction where they boarded a different train for their return to Chicago.
What had been in its time an attractive and modern edifice served rail travelers until 1971, when all passenger rail service to Oregon was discontinued. Through years of non-use, misuse, abuse, and neglect, the once proud depot had suffered.
But in 2001, an ambitious and dedicated group of people began a project that continues today…the Oregon Depot Restoration Project. In that year the City of Oregon created the Depot museum board comprised of three members serving four year terms: two appointed by the mayor in addition to the commissioner of public works (water and water treatment). The board meets as needed and plans as well as supervises all necessary restoration needed for the property. Code specifies that a majority of expenses are paid out of money received as donations. The Oregon Depot Museum is a 501c3 organization and can receive tax deductible donations.