A History of the Florence Depot

1888 Florence Depot North 30th and McKinley Drive North Omaha Nebraska

The City of Florence struggled to exist for a long time. When it finally got a nice train depot on the Omaha Road in the 1880s, it looked like it was coming up quick. This is a history of the Florence Depot in North Omaha.

The Florence Depot was built in 1888 at North 30th and McKinley Drive in the Florence neighborhood. Designed in the Italianate style, the Florence Depot was an essential meeting and departure place for one of Nebraska’s oldest cities.

In 1968, the Florence Depot was moved across the neighborhood from North 28th Street to 9000 North 30th Street. The Florence Pioneer Association saved the building after it was condemned, renovating it into a museum.

With extensive restorations, today the Florence Railroad Depot Historical Museum highlights the railroad history of eastern Nebraska and provides an account for the early growth of this neighborhood in North Omaha.

This structure is not listed on the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places or designated as an official Omaha Landmark.

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MY ARTICLES ABOUT THE HISTORY OF FLORENCE:
Public Places: Florence Ferry | Florence High School | The Mormon Tree | Florence Water Works | Mormon Bridge | Florence Boulevard | River Drive | J.J. Pershing Drive and Monument | Potter’s Field
Businesses: Vennelyst Park | Bank of Florence | Florence Mill | Florence Depot
Houses: Parker Mansion | Brandeis Country Home | Lantry-Thompson Mansion | Mitchell House
People: James M. Parker | James Comey Mitchell | Florence Kilborn
Neighborhoods: Winter Quarters | Florence Field | Wyman Heights

Elsewhere Online

BONUS

This is a drawing of the Florence Depot by Adam Fletcher Sasse for NorthOmahaHistory.com. ©2017 All Rights Reserved.
In 1968, the Florence Depot was moved across the neighborhood from North 28th Street to 2999 Dick Collins Road in North Omaha, Nebraska. The Florence Pioneer Association saved the building after it was condemned, renovating it into a museum. Pic from the Omaha World-Herald.
In 1968, the Florence Depot was moved across the neighborhood from North 28th Street to 9000 North 30th Street. Pic from the Omaha World-Herald.
Florence Depot Museum, North Omaha, Nebraska
This is the former Florence Depot circa 1955. Pic from the author’s collection.

6 Comments

  1. Thanks again, Adam, for this piece on a real part of North Omaha history.. I remember the station building well at it’s 28th Stree location Growing up in Minne Lusa, I used to hike up the Omaha Road track from Reed Street North to the station then detour over to Zesto’s on 30th for a refreshment break. By the time I did this in the late 50’s and early 60’s, the station was closed up, and I always wanted to see the inside. It’s great that folks can do this now that it has been restored at it’s new location, not far from the original site.

    You may have some readers who would like to know when the last regular passenger service operated on the Omaha Road through Florence. The last through train to Minneapolis using the CNW’s Omaha Road on the Nebraska side of the river to Sioux City was the Mondamin which operated daily until early 1950. When this train was ended, service was provided to Sioux City on “mixed” trains (freight and passengers both) two or three times a week until 1957 when this service too was discontinued after a washout near Pender. I have seen reference to specal charter trains after regular public service anded,, including a political campaign train and a special charter to take Nebraska football fans to Minneapolis for a game with the Gophers.

    I have CNW timetables from the 1920’s and earlier that show itwo daily through trains to Minneaolis on the Omaha Road, in addition to service to Nofolk via Emerson. These were in addition to the service from Omaha to Miineapolis using the shorter and faster route to Sioux City on the Iowa side of the river. These trains were also discontinued in the 1950″s, the Nightengale in 1957 and the North American in 1959.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. After my post above concerning the last passenger service through Florence station, I found a reference to the exact date in the excellent resource, The Omaha Road in Nebraska, by Michael M. Bartels (2019). That source has the last through train to Sioux City on the Nebraska side of the River (i.e., on the Omaha Road) operating from Omaha’s Webster Street Station, through Florence, on June 3, 1950. That was also the last regular passenger only service from that station (Tri- weekly mixed trains operated for a few more years.)

    I remember the old Webster Street Station closed up as I rode by it on the Route # 9 bus from downtown to Minne Lusa where I grew up in the 1950s and early 1960s. It burned in 1965. Adam, this might be a good building for one of your articles!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi again, Adam. I just finished the great you-tube video you posted of John Patterson’s excellent oral history on the Webster Street Station. Thanks so much to John and yourself for making this valuable resource available to a wide audience! Most of the photos he used are new to me.

    I do have a variety of resource materials on the CNW; the Omaha Road; and the Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley (including a pre-1903 FEMV timetable with stops at Omaha Heights and Debolt Place), I’ll take a look to see how many photos of the Webster Street Station I can find. I know the Barrels book that I referenced above has at least one good one.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi again, Adam. You are absolutely right about the scarcity of photos of the old Webster Street Station. The best that I have seen were in John Patterson’s presentation at the link you provided above – we’ll worth a watch by anyone interested in Omaha railroad history.

        There are two nice pics of the Webster Street Station in the Bartels book that I referenced above. One is from the front and the other from the rear with a northbound train leaving the station.

        In looking for Webster Street Station photos, I found a photo of the last passenger train loading from Florence Station, a Nebraska football special to Minneapolis on October 3, 1969, according to the Bartels book. As I wrote before, the last regular passenger service through Florence was in 1950.

        Liked by 1 person

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