Whether you know it as the current Painesville Railroad Museum, the Painesville Depot or by its earlier station names C.P.A., Lake Shore & Michigan Southern or N.Y. Central, attendees this weekend can tour the full-size replica of the Lincoln Funeral Train. This steam engine and tender transported Abraham Lincoln from D.C. to Springfield, Illinois to his final resting site. Attendees will be able to actually tour the car as well as visit the depot that has a history dating back to 1851.
1851 saw the incorporation of the Cleveland, Painesville and Ashtabula Railroad Companies and the first C.P.A. depot in Painesville. Another consolidation and new name occurred in 1869 with the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern lines. The current depot had its groundbreaking in July 1892 and by February 1893 the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Station opened. Its final name change came on April 29, 1914 when the N.Y. Central formed as part of a 10 railroad line consolidation. The Painesville Depot served as the departure site for WWI draftees and as a canteen stop for those serving in WWII. Passenger service ended in May 1971. From '71-88 the site served as a Greyhound Bus stop. Nearly a decade passed before the depot was saved by the newly formed Western Reserve Railroad Association in 1997. A non-profit group, they have been working to restore and preserve the railway history that ran thru Lake County. The Painesville Depot features Richardson Romanesque Style architecture with sandstone walls and a slate roof on the exterior. The inside features red oak and marble alongwith hanging chandeliers. A caboose was donated by Lubrizol in 2000 (suffered damage in a 2006 fire). In 2002 a historical marker #18-43 was dedicated by the State of Ohio. The depot was granted 'Historic District' status in 2005 by the City of Painesville.
As mentioned earlier the Lincoln Funeral Train will be making a stop on June 6 and 7. Hours will be 10.m. to 6 p.m. both days. A fee is charged allowing attendees access to the Smithsonian blueprint verified and exact replica of the death car. As President-Elect, Lincoln visited this depot on February 16, 1861 on his William Case locomotive and tender. The Lincoln train next passed thru Painesville that fateful morning of Friday, April 28, 1865. This weekend on the 150th year anniversary of this tragic moment in history you can step back in time and witness history again. As a bonus it is rumored Abraham Lincoln a.k.a. John King and even Mary Todd will be on site sharing their life stories.
For more information- visit www.painesvillerailroadmuseum.org