The Mineral Range/DSS&A Passenger Depot, commonly known as the Calumet Depot, has found a new future! Calumet Township has acquired the Depot for “the purpose of historical preservation”, reports Township Supervisor Paul Lehto.
On the corner of 9th and Oak, the Depot (replacing an earlier structure in 1908) was the gateway to Calumet for thousands who migrated to the area in the boom years at the turn of the last century. The width of Oak Street demonstrates the thoroughfare necessary to accommodate the masses of people moving from train to trolley and into the community.
While marble floors speak to the former grandeur of the building this historic landmark has fallen into a state of disrepair and will require considerable funds to revive. Having the building in the hands of a government entity like Calumet Township opens doors to some funding sources that would otherwise be unavailable. With most grants matching dollars are required and finding that capital is never easy.
Over the years various ideas have been suggested for repurposing the depot, including a bar/restaurant, a visitor center and more recently, a trailhead for the adjacent multi-use trails. The township is currently working on ideas for future uses and to secure funding to bring the Depot back to its former glory.
Supervisor Lehto reports that the short term approach is to secure the structure. The township plans to bring power into the building to install safety lighting, secure doors and windows and clean up any debris inside the building.