Huntley depot moves to Amboy
The community of Huntley bid farewell to a staple landmark in town on Aug. 6 that now calls Amboy home.
That landmark is the Huntley Depot, which was owned by Don and Florence Wishman of Huntley.
The depot was given from the railroad to Rita Nordstrom in 1972. She cared for it for many years and then gave it to the Wishmans in 1998.
Now 14 years later the Wishmans have decided to part with the historical gift.
“I am sad to see it go and I?know a lot of people in Huntley are, too,” Wishman says. “But I wanted to make sure it was taken care of when I?was gone.”
Wishman wasn’t hasty when it came to finding a new home for the depot, though. In fact, he spent over a year trying to decide what to do with it. “I wanted it to have a good home instead of it ending up in a heap somewhere,”?he says.
He did look around Huntley for a new owner but couldn’t seem to find anyone interested.
“I also asked the Faribault County Historical Society which seemed to be considering it for awhile,”?Wishman adds.
However after more than a year of making calls and searching for someone to take over the depot, only one place stepped up.
“The Amboy Community Club jumped at the opportunity to move the depot,” he says.
The Amboy Community Club says they plan on preserving the depot as it is.
Wishman spent time getting to know the people of the Community Club to make sure there would be a positive outcome from the depot’s move.
“I?met with them for many hours,” he says.
Wishman then realized that they were enthusiastic about it and would be the ones to preserve it.
They even plan on setting up the platform in Amboy the exact way it sat before the move.
“They came down here and took the brick up one by one, brick by brick so nothing broke,”?Wishman says. “They are going to lay the brick platform at the new location just how it was.”
He was happy to hear the history of the depot will be kept alive after the move.
“We have kept the original desk, books and everything in the depot,”?he adds. “We have all the railroad records dating back to the 40s.”
The Amboy Community Club graciously accepted when they heard of the Wishmans’ offer.
“They just called us to see if we’d be interested,”?Les Curry Amboy Community Club member says.
Along with the other historical buildings the town has set up, they felt the Huntley Depot would fill the void left by the Amboy Depot, which was brought to St. James.
“A lot of these little communities like Huntley and Amboy existed just because of the railroad system,”?he says.
Wishman says it was discussed that Amboy may put shops in there or open it for a museum type location; either way he knows it will be kept up.
“I know people are sad to see it go and I feel bad, but I’m 76 and I wanted to make sure someone could look after it and the people of Amboy were so excited and enthusiastic about it all,”?he says.
So with the depot up on wheels and moved down the back roads to Amboy, it is in its new residence.
“Depots were the cornerstone of communities,”?Curry says.
Now the Huntley Depot can remain a cornerstone for years to come.