In 1895, 128 years ago, the depot we know and love, was built. It replaced a wooden structure built in 1852, 43 years earlier.

The beautiful passenger depot served rail travelers for 61 years. However, on Nov. 19, 1956, the last passenger train pulled out of Sturgis.

For the next 20 years the depot was privately owned. Melvin Camburn has all kinds of stories about his father’s repair shop housed at this building before it was acquired by the city of Sturgis.

Lake Shore Depot in Sturgis, Michigan

In 1976, the city solicited ideas for a community-wide bicentennial project. From all the submissions, they selected the “Depot Park and Museum Project.” A campaign to raise $50,000 to create a 4-acre park and restore the depot to house a museum hit the news. Half was for the museum and the other half housed the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce.

By 1978, organizers were asking for donations of historical artifacts to fill the 13 display cabinets. The grand opening was October 1978.

Then 35 years later, in 2014 the whole depot was moved across town. And here we are, nine years later.

What a life for the Sturgis Historical Museum ~ at the Depot!