The Old Farmers Branch Depot
Carrollton & Farmers Branch
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Farmers Branch Depot

The depot was probably build between 1875 and 1880.  It was originally located just north of the Historical Park, along the railroad track near Valley View and Denton Drive.  The land was originally sold to the Dallas & Wichita Railroad by John H. Longmire, a merchant in Farmers Branch, for the price of $1.  The depot consists of two rooms; a freight room and a combination office/waiting room.  As the years passed and activity in the area increased, several building were added in the vicinity of the depot: a water tank, stock pens, a potato house and water wells.

The first railroad line to reach Farmers Branch - Carrollton area was the Dallas and Wichita Railway Company, chartered in 1871. By 1878, only twenty miles of track had been laid, joining Dallas and Lewisville. In 1880, the line was purchased by the Missouri Kansas and Texas Railroad System, which was owned by the infamous Jay Gould.  On September 30, 1924, after the tracks had been electrified, the Dallas-Denton Interurban Line opened, serving Dallas, Denton and the communities of Farmers Branch, Carrollton, Lewisville, and Garza.  In 1930, there were almost two trains per hour with a 45 train per day schedule, but in 1931, the Interurban stopped running.

During the late 1870's, local residents called the D & W, the Dallas and "which a way", because of inconsistent schedules and frequent breakdowns.

The depot was the commercial hub of the town.  The manufactured goods of the town and the farmer's crops were shipped out to market from the depot. Coming into the depot were merchandise for local stores, and everything from clothing to stoves ordered by citizens through mail order catalogs. Visitors arrived on, and family and friends departed from, the depot platform. Newspapers, mail, and even telegraph messages all arrived at the railway depot. The railroad remained the major method of transportation until the 1920's when better highways encouraged the use of private automobiles. By 1938, passenger service between Dallas and Denton had ceased and only freight trains were listed on the time tables.  By 1958, the Farmers Branch station had been closed and sold.

The City of Farmers Branch purchased the depot in 1982 and moved it into the Historical Park in 1985.  The depot was restored and dedicated in 1986.

The depot was originally 18x42 feet, and it consisted of a freight room, an agent's office in the center, and two waiting rooms, one for blacks and one for whites. Those waiting rooms, were removed in 1946,t o cut the square footage and relieve the tax burdens.  The building exterior has a battened board construction, which is wooden vertical planks with wooden strips nailed between the planks. According to research, the colors were standard colors used by the M K & T Railroad Company.

The furnishings of the waiting rooms were probably rather sparse, limited to benches, spittoons, and a pot belly stove. The walls might have been "decorated" with calendars, timetables and posters. Standard furnishings for the agent's office would have included table or desk at the bay window, where the agent could see up and down the track, telegraph equipment and a ticket window.  Light was provided by a kerosene lamp.  The freight room would have been equipped with scales, a baggage truck, a loading board to bridge the gap between the platform and the railroad car floor, and other maintenance equipment.

Courtesy of the Farmers Branch Historical Park

 

Train Depot as it was moved to the Farmers Branch Historical Park

 

See Also Carrollton & Farmers Branch Depots


Carrollton-Farmers Branch TXGenWeb
Supported by Edward Lynn Williams
Copyright January, 2012