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