Bluffs railroad museum turns 25
Tim Rohwer WORLD-HERALD NEWS SERVICE said:COUNCIL BLUFFS — A train museum that showcases this city’s rich railroading history is making its own history.
The 25th anniversary of RailsWest Railroad Museum, 16th Avenue and South Main Street, will be celebrated in June.
Tim Rohwer WORLD-HERALD NEWS SERVICE said:The original rail depot was completed in 1870 for the Rock Island line.
A train left from there July 21, 1873, and was stopped and robbed by Jesse James and his gang near Adair, Iowa. The gang had been in Council Bluffs the day before to learn the train schedule, Borgaila said.
Tim Rohwer WORLD-HERALD NEWS SERVICE said:In 1881, the depot was destroyed when a train rolled in with a load of dynamite that accidentally exploded.
The current depot was completed in 1899. At the time it featured a waiting room for women and children and another for men, who couldn’t venture into the other because of their vulgar language.
Tim Rohwer WORLD-HERALD NEWS SERVICE said:The last Rock Island passenger train pulled out on May 31, 1970. The last day of operations was March 31, 1980.
In 1985, the Historical Society of Pottawattamie County obtained the rights to the building from the city and spent the next two years renovating it, Borgaila said. One of the first big events was Johnny Cash in concert.