• Menu
  • Menu

Rock Island Depot – Elk City

Location Class:
Built: 1900's | Abandoned: 1970
Status: Demolished
Photojournalist: AbandonedOK Team

In the center of Elk City, is this abandoned railroad depot for the Rock Island Railroad, which was officially merged out of existence in the late 1970’s. This brick depot is a reminder of the changes in the nation’s transportation needs from the 1800’s when the railroad reigned supreme across the country before giving way to the automobile and the interstate freeway. On August 13, 1901, the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad (purchased in 1904 by the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad in 1904) laid its last rail on the so-called “Choctaw Route”, bringing rail access to Elk City. By January 1902, Elk City had more than sixty businesses and a population exceeding 1,000. Paving the streets with bricks also began in 1902. Though not yet a year old, the town had become one of the largest in Western Oklahoma. Even with two devastating fires (one on October 28, 1903, which destroyed more than a dozen businesses, and the other in March 1906 which burned sixteen businesses to the ground), Elk City continued to grow into a major transportation and commercial hub, and by statehood in 1907, the population had more than tripled to 3,000 people.
Gallery Below

2.7 3 votes
Article Rating

If you wish to support our current and future work, please consider making a donation or purchasing one of our many books. Any and all donations are appreciated.

Donate to our cause Check out our books!

Michael Schwarz

Starting from a young age, I’ve always loved exploring. I can remember venturing off and scoping out the houses being built in the developing neighborhood right behind my house. As I got older, I found myself appreciating the work and love that went into architecture and just being excited to pass by the beautifully designed places in downtown.

View Locations
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
David J. Engle
David J. Engle
6 years ago

E-newsletter Rock Island Reporter http://eepurl.com/Ut8UL
Please pass to anyone who may be interested.
Smaller and time-sensitive material needed

6 years ago

The Rock Island Railroad continued operating through the end of March 1980, although it ceased operations in most of Oklahoma two weeks before that (March 15th 1980). I presume Elk City station remained open for business into March 1980.

V. R. Polewsky
RI Train Dispatcher, ret.

Rita Durrett
7 years ago

Abandoned? Not used would be a better description. It is owned by the city and used for storage.

Snaps Magee
Snaps Magee
8 years ago

If it closed in the 1970s – years after the end of segregation – then why are there still white and negro waiting room designations? And how have those doors escaped utter destruction from angry black residents all these years?

Tammy McClendon
8 years ago

Awesome! How do you become a photographer for abandoned OK?

Reply to  Tammy McClendon
8 years ago

Tammy, join the forum and start contributing! That's the easiest way to get going! Once you have made a few posts, you will receive an invitation.

Copyright © 2009- - Abandoned Atlas Foundation - board@AbandonedAtlas.com | Designed By Prairie Nation Creative, LLC - Disclaimer

Have history here? Would love hear your stories or your thoughts.x