| Home   
History of the Mount Vernon B&O Railroad Station   Historic Post Cards of the Station

     People like historic public buildings and especially historic train stations. A depot, some people say, is a community’s front door.

     The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad depot, located five blocks west of the square on High Street, served as Mount Vernon’s front door for more than 95 years as a telegraph office, freight and passenger railroad station. Owned by the City of Mount Vernon, the B&O depot has undergone a complete renovation which was completed in November 2007.

     On Monday, November 25, 1907, Baltimore & Ohio passenger train number 7, northbound, was the first train to stop at the new B&O station. A small news item in The Daily Banner read, “The new building is a very handsome one and also very convenient. One of the most striking advantages is that a passenger can purchase a ticket and have his baggage checked without going outside the station. The new station is equipped with all modern conveniences. It is heated with steam and lighted with electricity.”

     The single one and a half story structure was built in the style known as “Richardsonian Romanesque.” Henry H. Richardson has been recognized as one of the few, great American architects and his interpretation of Romanesque forms influenced a whole generation of architects, including the architect who designed the B&O depot. The style is easily identified by the heavy masonry construction, the Roman arches, and the deep window recesses.

     The exterior is of stone, brick and wood construction and the 4,200 square-foot interior is of plaster and quarter-sawn oak hardwoods, including the floors. The hip roof is red quarry tile.

     The restoration of the B&O depot may be one of the largest private-public projects in the history of the City. The project was not being funded with state or federal money, but with local funds, more than half of it from private donations. The City of Mount Vernon purchased the depot from CSX Transportation in late 2002 for $160,000. Work commenced on the structure in 2003 and was completed in 2007, in time for the depot’s 100th anniversary. Total cost of the restoration was $804,000.

     One last bit of history. This story has been repeated so often that it must be true.
The plans for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad station arrived in Mount Vernon on June 15, 1906. The structure was to be built during the summer. But that was before love was in the air. It seems the railroad planned a more modest, frame structure for Mount Vernon and an elaborate, stone depot for Sandusky, Ohio, (then the northern terminal of the railroad). The frame building would take less than six months to construct while the stone structure a great deal longer. The person in charge of depot construction for the B&O fell in love with a Mount Vernon woman and wished to spend as much time with her as possible. No problem; he simply switched plans. Mount Vernon got the wonderful stone and brick building while Sandusky received the wood frame depot. And the supervisor got to spend more time in Mount Vernon.

click images for larger view
Baltimore & Ohio Depot
Mount Vernon B&O Train Depot
Mount Vernon B&O Train Depot
Mount Vernon B&O Train Depot
Historic Train Station