This beautiful little film, produced about 2006, will give you a brief look at the development of the railroad in our area, and the passion behind the formation of The Rosenberg Railroad Museum.
a treasure from the past
This old postcard (seen above), picturing the Union Depot in Rosenberg, was mailed around 1907. The handwritten message reads:
"Dear Clara, This is where you want to get off when you come to Texas. You can't make a mistake. It's the only place of its kind.
Ha. Ha. Effie"
Rosenberg is still the place you want to get off, although the old station is long gone. Our museum building is modeled after the original depot. Rosenberg's Union Depot served the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroads from 1883 until 1917. It sat just north of where our museum building sits now. Union Depot was replaced by a stucco building on the east side of 3rd Street in 1917.
Other railroad buildings nearby were the Wells Fargo & Co. Express Building, and the Harvey House Restaurant.
first there was a dream
In 1992, a group of citizens concerned with the future of historic downtown Rosenberg, formed an exploratory committee to determine the feasibility of establishing a museum designed to preserve the railroad history of Fort Bend County. Rosenberg is the county's largest city named for a railroad official, and was platted by the Gulf, Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad so a railroad museum was the natural choice.
In 1993, committee chairman Judge Larry Wagenbach convinced the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway Company to donate 1.47 acres of land on the west side of 3rd Street and north of Avenue F in downtown Rosenberg which became home to the Rosenberg Railroad Museum.
In July of that year, the railroad museum acquired its first artifacts from an auction at the George Ranch - the largest being the 1879 business car "Quebec". In November, 1993, the museum held its first fundraiser at the former Rosenberg State Bank Building on the corner of Avenue G and 2nd Street in downtown Rosenberg. The Harvey House themed event was attended by actor James Drury, best known as "The Virginian".
In the summer of 1994, the museum prepared a foundation for the rail car and the Quebec arrived at the site in the summer of 1995, ready for restoration to begin.
None of Rosenberg's original railroad structures had survived, except for Tower 17, and that structure was still in service, so there was a need to construct a building that would house the exhibits. By the end of 1998, construction began on the reproduction of the Rosenberg Union depot for use as a museum gallery. The museum building was completed in 2002, and on June 6-8 of that year, a Grand Opening was held, attracting thousands of people from across Fort Bend County.
Today, the Rosenberg Railroad Museum continues with its mission of education and preservation of Fort Bend County's rich railroad history. We could not have come this far without the dedication of many members, volunteers, and sponsors throughout the years, and the continued support of our membership and the public at large. THANK YOU!