Checotah's 1890 M-K-T Depot remains the line's oldest surviving wooden station and its owners are glad to show you around. This its the third one to serve Checotah since its railroad beginings, Feb. 13, 1872. It was substantialy enlarged in 1903 and as a "combination station," offered both passenger and freight services. Although passenger service was discontinued in the Mid-1960s the railroad (now a part of Union Pacific) remains a jamor mover of freight.
Purchase by the Checotah Landmark Preservation Society in 1985 saved it from demolition. It was moved in two sections and realigned at its current site on Paul Carr Drive, parallel to US 69 between I-40 and US 266.
By slow, careful stages the building was restored and reopened in 1988 in its new role as fourist information center/museum.
Already a part of the Oklahoma Landmark Inventory at its track side location, it was listed on the United Sttes Department of the Interior's National Register of Historical Places in 1991 for its architectural integrity.
Now callers can see commuinity collections emphasizing our heritage: railroad, pioneer, business, the military and "our" Civil War battle, cowboys and Indians. And in the Porter's Pantry there are souvenir gift items from local sources.
On the grounds is M-K-T caboose #205, a gift from Union Pacific which moved and was placed on track by volunteers. The Katy is open three seasons a year, five days a week and by appointment. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m Monday through Thursday and Saturday, and Sunday 2 p.m to 4 p.m. Admission is free.
Text from Checotah Courier *VOL 2, NO.
Checotah Loved Francis PickensThe Checotah Chamber of Commerce is especially appreciative for the use of black and white prints by local artist Francs Bristow Cates Pickens (1915-1996). In earlier editions of th COURIER Frances shared pencil sketches of a number of historic buildings in our twon, and tehse remarkable documentations we are using once more.
Mrs. Pickens was honored for this artistic donation and other civilc contributions at the 1989 Chamber of Commerce banquet when she was the McIntosh County Democrat's selection as Citizen of the Year. In 1995 she was the Landmark Preservation Society's Significant Alumni Award winner.
From the Checotah Courier *VOL. 2, NO. 1*
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