Wabash Station to celebrate 100th anniversary

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 | 5:12 p.m. CDT; updated 8:41 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 6, 2010

COLUMBIA — The Wabash Station is turning 100 on July 16, and Columbia residents are throwing a party.

The Wabash Centennial Jubilee will include two parts: a formal ceremony and an event sponsored by the city of Columbia and North Village Association.

Columbia Transit centennial photo contest

Columbia Transit is accepting entries for its centennial photo contest through next Friday, June 25.

There are two categories for photo entries: historic photos and current photos of Columbia Transit.

1. Historical photos of Wabash Station, trains at the Wabash or bus riders — including photos that showcase the station when it served as Columbia's train station from 1910 to 1964, or old photos of Columbia Transit buses and/or riders. Historical photos may be submitted by individuals who now own the photo.

2. Bus station and/or bus riders — photographs showcasing Columbia Transit buses, the Wabash Station or people on the buses. Photos must have been taken between 2007 to present. Photos in this category must be submitted by the photographer (18 years or older).

Contest rules and information can be found are available at or by calling Columbia Transit at 874-7282.

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Public Works Department spokeswoman Jill Stedem said the ceremony at the station will begin at 2 p.m. with a proclamation by Mayor Bob McDavid, followed by a talk by local historian Bill Clark. The Columbia Transit centennial photo contest winners will be announced, and refreshments will be available.  

From 5 to 9 p.m. in downtown’s North Village, the jubilee will include tours of the stationand the old train storage facility, as well as provide activities for children, Stedem said. Children will have opportunities to make buses and trains out of recycled materials and to ride a train made of 50-gallon barrels. The fire department plans to display one of its 1940s-era fire engines.

“We are trying to do a lot of activities centered around buses and trains,” Stedem said.

Stedem said some of those in attendance will be train vendors, the Wabash Historical Society based out of Quincy, Ill., the Central State Rail Dining Cars and local artists.  

“It’s exciting for us because there aren’t many buildings that have lasted or are still used in Columbia,” Stedem said. “This is an opportunity to celebrate a building that has had a significant impact on the community.”

The Wabash Station was originally built as a train station in 1910. It reopened in 1982 as a bus station after the city purchased it. Stedem said great-grandchildren of the station builder, Leonard Wolff, will come to celebrate its anniversary.   

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