Missouri Pacific Depot (Gurdon)

The Missouri Pacific Depot in Gurdon (Clark County) was constructed in 1917. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 11, 1992, and is located on North First Street. While the area around the depot is still used by the Union Pacific Railroad in the twenty-first century, the former train station is used only for storage.

Gurdon was founded in 1880 along the Cairo and Fulton Railroad. The town was founded at the junction of several railroad lines that led to Little Rock (Pulaski County), Texarkana (Miller County), Glenwood (Pike County), and Camden (Ouachita County). The timber resources surrounding the community and the town’s importance as a transportation hub led to a growing population in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Early depots in Gurdon were constructed of wood. In order to support operations in the area adequately, the Missouri Pacific Railroad, which gained control of the main track in Gurdon in 1917, began construction on a new depot the same year.

The rectangular depot was constructed in the Mediterranean style using red brick on a continuous concrete foundation. When constructed, the building was topped with a red clay tile roof, which was replaced with an asphalt shingle roof at an unknown date. The depot is divided into two sections separated by a breezeway, the southern end for passengers and northern end for freight. The southern end of the building is an open platform, and a telegraph operator’s office was located on the west side of the structure near the tracks. The platform contains four brick pillars topped with Italianate white brackets. Additional brackets are present along all of the walls of the structure, supporting the roof. Two one-over-one sash windows topped with transoms look out over the platform.

The east side of the building that served passengers has ten additional one-over-one windows topped with transoms, as well as two wooden and glass doors, each topped with a transom. The doors are each accessible by a short flight of concrete steps. The east side of the building that handled freight includes a wooden rolling door that opens directly to the street. A door in the breezeway leads into the freight area. The north end of the building includes two one-over-one windows that lack transoms. A concrete and brick platform is located at the end of the building. The west side of the building mirrors the east side, with the same number and type of doors and windows.

Each of the windows in the building is surrounded by stucco and edged in quoins. On the roof of the building directly above the telegraph operator’s office is a Spanish-style dormer edged in concrete. The depot is located directly northeast of the Hoo-Hoo Monument.

By 2020, the area surrounding the depot was being utilized by the Union Pacific Railroad, while the interior of the building was being used as storage.

For additional information:
Baker, William. Historic Railroad Depots of Arkansas: 1870–1940. Little Rock: Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.

“Missouri Pacific Depot.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Office, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/CL0193.nr.pdf (accessed July 16, 2020).

Richter, Wendy, et al. Clark County Arkansas: Past and Present. Arkadelphia, AR: Clark County Historical Association, 1992.

David Sesser
Henderson State University

Last Updated: 07/16/2020