Above: Freight Portion of Santa Fe Depot Building in 1924
About 1909, a series of articles in the Eagle Lake Headlight (local newspaper) mentioned the increasing desire for a new "union station" for passenger service in Eagle Lake - since three railroads provided service to the town. Citizens thought they deserved better facilities than the railroads were providing at the time, as the existing depots had been built in the 1870's and 1880's. The proposed site for the union depot was 3/4 mile east of downtown - too far away in the opinion of most citizens.
The Santa Fe did not have a depot in the city of Eagle Lake even though it had a spur track into town. Passengers were served via the Southern Pacific depot, which was near the end of the Santa Fe tracks. The "union depot" subject soon disappeared (at least from the Headlight), but a July 30, 1910 article mentions a new Santa Fe depot to be constructed "near Townley's Machine Shop", and the Jan 31, 1911 edition of the Dallas Morning News claimed construction would commence February 15.
Above: SP Passenger Depot also served Santa Fe passengers before September, 1911.
Above: Modern Image of Depot in 1911 Color Scheme
Above: North Side Elevation and Detail from 1911 Blueprints
Blueprints dated February 1911 were drawn up for the new combination passenger/freight depot at Eagle Lake, Texas. The depot would be brick construction because a 1903 fire in downtown Eagle Lake caused the city council to prohibit new wooden construction for downtown businesses. The depot opened for business in September, 1911.
With it's brick construction and tile roof, the Eagle Lake Santa Fe depot is unique for this part of Texas - the architectural style was much more common in north Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Another unique architectural feature are the blue and white tile Santa Fe trademarks on the ends of the buildings. Research thus far has not uncovered another instance on the Santa Fe Railroad where the trademarks were made of tile.
As was typical for the era, there was no running water or restrooms inside. While the building was wired for electricity, in 1911 there were few appliances to plug in so no electrical outlets were provided (or needed) while the building was in railroad service.