ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Union Depot


same as Watertown Junction Depot


The Junction


The Junction was the location of Union Depot

near Depot and Lafayette streets;

the depot was demolished in 1994




The new depot building at the junction of the Chicago & Northwestern and the Milwaukee & St. Paul railroads is finished and is now in use.  As matters now stand, there is no convenient or direct way of getting to and from the new building.  This is a disadvantage that ought to be remedied in some way as soon as possible.  If a short and easy way can be found to get to it, let it be pointed out, and steps taken to open a road in that direction.  The roundabout way that must now be taken by travelers to reach our hotels is an annoyance and delay that must be done away with as soon as possible. WD




A little before 5 o’clock, last Sunday morning, the 29th inst., the Union Depot building, at the junctions of the Milwaukee & St. Paul and the Chicago & Northwestern railroads, was discovered to be on fire by the watchman. 


The northern train on the Northwestern road, which was considerably behind, had passed only about half an hour before, at which time there was no appearance of fire.  The flames broke out in the Express room, but how they originated seems to be unknown and unexplained.  The alarm was given, and as soon as possible, the Engine and Hook & Ladder companies went to the rescue.  The depot building being built of wood, the flames spread so rapidly that when the firemen reached the spot, it was seen that their chief business was to save the neighboring structures. 


The Bay State House, owned by Mr. J. W. Mathese, was in great danger, the cornice having already caught fire from the heat or flying sparks. 


In the meantime, the depot itself was being rapidly consumed, the firemen making the most active efforts to confine the flames to it alone, and the platform adjoining it, which they succeeded in doing.  That portion of the platform touching the burning depot was ruined, and other parts more distant badly injured. 


The depot itself was completely destroyed, very little within being saved.  The telegraph instruments were got out and a few other things.  All the baggage in the baggage room was taken away, but most of the express matter, which had just been received, was lost, though every exertion was put forth to remove it.


But for the heavy steady rain, which had been falling for some hours, this fire would have been much more extensive and disastrous. 


The Bay State House and the machine shops would have been burned beyond a doubt.  As it was, the Bay State House escaped with a slight scorching, and a few broken windows, which can be easily repaired. 


Notwithstanding the distance the mud and the storm, the firemen promptly came out, and used their best endeavors to keep the flames within the smallest possible bounds, and they were remarkably successful, considering the conditions in which they found things when they arrived on the ground.      Watertown Democrat        10-03-1872



08 14       ARTESIAN WELL near the Junction; highly magnetic and possessing rare and extraordinary medicinal properties   WD



06 20       DEPOT TO BE RAISED

The Milwaukee road depot is being raised two feet and eight inches in order to conform with the grade of the tracks in the yard here.   WR



On account of the great number of washouts along the Milwaukee road lately it has been decided not to raise the depot as the ground and the gravel will be used farther up the line.     WR



[same date] On Thursday night the engine of the passenger which arrived at 6:10 P.M. fell off the turn-table at the Chicago & Northwestern depot.  A wrecking crew was brought into service and placed the engine back on the track.    WR



01 16       Train wreck at the Junction; Northwestern and C.M.&St.P. Ry. freight trains.



10 02       Bryan Passes Through Watertown



C.&N.W. Ry. and C.M.&St.P. Ry. freight trains


At 1 o'clock last Saturday afternoon a double-header freight train on the C.&N.W. Ry. going north ran into a C.M.&St.P. Ry. freight going east at the railway crossing at the Junction.  No one was injured, but one of the C.&N.W. engines and a number of coaches were badly wrecked.  Conductor W. F. Clasen and Engineer Chas. Burmaster had charge of the C.M.&St.P. freight, and D. F. Harrison and C. F. Dunwiddie had charge of the Northwestern.  WG



Sept         President Taft, train stop at the Junction 






11 02       Demolition Watertown's old depot [Union Depot] at the west end of Depot Street is being razed.  The building has been in a state of disrepair for years, and with the completion of a smaller railroad office on nearby property, the decision was made to raze it.  For decades the depot was used for passengers on the old Milwaukee Road and the Chicago and North Western lines.  The last Chicago and North Western passenger train to use the depot was in 1952 and the final Milwaukee Road passenger trains were in 1971 when Amtrak was born.  In recent years the depot was used for storage only.




Table of Contents 

History of Watertown, Wisconsin