The pictured railroad depot in the Howard County town of Elma was constructed in 1901, after a fire destroyed the community’s original station along the Chicago and Great Western Railway. As the twentieth century progressed and railroad prominence declined, Elma saw the last passenger train stop at the depot on April 28, 1962. The depot remained open for freight travel purposes until 1971, when several depots were closed in favor of a centralized location in New Hampton. A decade later, freight trains were discontinued on the line, and track was removed in April 1982.
After sitting vacant for over ten years, resident Kenny Stevenson initiated the restoration of the historic Elma depot. The depot now serves as a museum highlighting rail travel in Elma and other local artifacts. It’s operated by the Elma Museum Board and open weekends Memorial Day through Labor Day.