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Examiner
  • Bluegrass benefit Friday for depot renovation

  • The Blue Springs Historical Society continues to make progress on the depot, and this week it holds its largest fundraiser for that effort.



    “It’s an integral part of the history of Blue Springs,” said Shirl Quick, who is organizing the fundraiser.

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  • The Blue Springs Historical Society continues to make progress on the depot, and this week it holds its largest fundraiser for that effort.
    “It’s an integral part of the history of Blue Springs,” said Shirl Quick, who is organizing the fundraiser.
    It’s a bluegrass concert, featuring True Blue Gospel, at 7 p.m. Friday in the auditorium at First Baptist Church at 15th and Main Streets on the edge of downtown. Admission is $10 or $25 for the whole family. There is also a silent auction.
    True Blue Gospel is a treat, Quick said.
    “They harmonize very well,” she said. “They’re a real good family group.”
    The depot was moved last summer to Central Park, south of Walnut and near downtown. It used to be just off Main Street. The roof has been replaced, and other work, such as a stucco exterior, is coming once the weather warms up.
    “We’re putting it back to its original color and materials and everything,” Quick said.
    The depot is a symbol of how the railroad shaped the city in its early days.
    The rail line – today’s Kansas City Southern line still running through the city – came to town in March 1878. Downtown was platted a few months later, and the village of Blue Springs – near what is today Burrus Old Mill Park – simply moved.
    The first depot went up that same year, though it burned down in the 1920s. The city lobbied the railroad for a new depot and got it in 1926. That’s the building that exists today. A couple of years ago, the Kansas City Southern said the building – unused for many years – had to go, but local citizens rallied to buy time, raise money and begin to find a long-term use for the building.
    Quick says even in its new location, the depot is close enough to the rail lines that it can qualify for grants. The Blue Springs Historical Society is seeking to get it on the National Register of Historic Places. Ultimately, the idea is put in a center that tells the story of how the railroad shaped the city. The timeline on that isn’t set yet.
    But first, a lot of restoration is needed.
    “We’re working on it throughout the year,” Quick said.
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