The beautifully renovated and updated CA&C (Cleveland, Akron, Columbus) Depot and William A. Stroud Welcome Center is located on South Main Street (enter from Columbus Road) and is home to the Knox County Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Mount Vernon, and Knox County Convention & Visitors Bureau offices.

Originally built for the CA&C Railroad in 1907, the building now serves as a collaborative office space for the above mentioned community entities as well as a welcome center, especially for cyclists/walkers/runners on the Kokosing Gap Trail and Heart of Ohio Trail. These two trails are also part of the larger Ohio-to-Erie Trail, former rail bed that once carried steam engines from Cleveland to Cincinnati.

The CA&C Depot was dedicated to William A. Stroud, a long time First-Knox National Bank (now Park National Bank) executive, army aviator, and tireless advocate for public green space. He passed away in 2011 at the age of 90, leaving behind an honorable legacy.

Historic Tidbits:

  • Original building burned in 1905 and the current building was rebuilt in the same location.
  • At one time, it was the largest depot on the CA&C line.
  • The last passenger train came through in 1959.
  • In its heyday, more than 40 trains would pass through Mount Vernon in a day. About 30 of those would be passenger trains.
  • You can feel the spot in front of the ticket booth and behind the ticket booth where the floor actually dips down due to the amount of people purchasing tickets over the years.
  • You could have purchased a ticket to any station in the U.S. there, along with any transfers.
  • Everyone who visited Mount Vernon came through the depot, along with all packages and mail.
  • Example price: A ticket from Mount Vernon to Orville and back cost around $40.
  • Baddow Pass near Greer (outside of Mount Vernon) required assistance for trains to get up and over it. This was an extra expense to the railways.
  • B&O (depot located on W. High Street) was a separate line and served as a competitor to CA&C.
  • The marble you see on the ticket booth had been painted green at one time when the Senior Center was there. During renovations, someone tried to drive a nail through it unsuccessfully and discovered all the beautiful marble there.
  • The terrazzo floors are original and had 3 layers of carpet glued on top of them. That was one of the most difficult parts of renovation.
 

Gallery

Click to view the full size image.

 

 

A friendly stop for water, facilities, and local information where the Kokosing Gap Trail and Heart of Ohio Trail meet.

 

 


Park Info

 

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 Ariel-Foundation Park, located in Mount Vernon, Ohio, is a 250-acre civic park that offers a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors of all ages.

Visiting Hours

Ariel-Foundation Park is officially open April 1 through November 15. Some areas of the park are accessible to pedestrians year-round. Daily hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. There are no admissions or parking fees. The Rastin Observation Tower, park museum, picnic pavillions, trails and other park features are free and open to the public. The Rastin Observation Tower is open during winter months, as long as weather allows.

Contact Us

Foundation Park Conservancy
P.O. Box 644, Mount Vernon, OH 43050
[email protected]
740-501-9293

Mount Vernon City Parks Department
1700 Old Delaware Road, Mount Vernon, OH 43050
[email protected]
740-393-9501

 
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