1904 Train Depot Museum
Step back to a simpler time and immerse yourself in an important era of Kingsville’s history with a visit to the 1904 Train Depot of Kingsville. Although Kingsville is more presently associated with the world-famous King Ranch, the town’s success and growth in its early days can directly be attributed to the railroad’s development. Born from a dream and a $6,500 loan from Richard King, native New Yorker Uriah Lott and B.F. Yoakum incorporated the St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railroad (the StLB&M) in 1903. In 1904, 158.06 miles of track connected the town to Corpus Christi and Brownsville, providing a means of transportation for locals as well as shipments of produce, cotton, hogs, and cattle to northern markets. From that point forward, Kingsville and South Texas flourished.
Although previously closed at a time when rail travel no longer held the sparkle and excitement it had enjoyed for so many years, the depot was beautifully restored for Kingsville’s 100th birthday and the museum opened its doors on July 4th, 2004 – 100 years to the date that the city was Chartered. Manned by generous volunteers of Kingsville, each person brings the variety of exhibits to life through the love and excitement they feel for the museum. Exhibits feature custom pieces such as signs and emblems, dining car place settings, employee and promotional publications, and artifacts and memorabilia like lanterns, tools, and even an operational telegraph. If you are fortunate enough to visit on the day that the station’s volunteer telegraph operator is on duty, she will show and teach you how messages were sent in Morse Code. Volunteers may share the story of relatives that worked on and rode the rails, as well as stories of families that rode to Kingsville looking for a new start on life and ranched and farmed land that is still in the same family today.
Address: 102 E Kleberg Ave, Kingsville, TX 78363
Phone Number: (800) 333-5032 or (361) 592-8516
Hours of Operation: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
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Visit the Train Depot Museum
Admission to the 1904 train depot is free and the center provides comfortable seating, air conditioning, and public restrooms. Visitors to the train depot will also find brochures and information about local points of interest and businesses. Kingsville's historic downtown is only a short walk away, along with the King Ranch Saddle Shop, Harrel’s Drug Store, and a number of specialty shops that carry everything from jewelry, books, western wear, artwork and vintage pieces to home furnishings.