Batavia Depot Museum – Batavia, Illinois

Batavia Depot Museum – Batavia, Illinois

The depot was built in 1854 and used by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad and now is a museum for the city.

Batavia railroad history comes alive in a permanent exhibit about the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (est. 1850), the Chicago & North Western Railroad (est. 1872) and the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin Electric Line (est. 1902). Three railroad lines served Batavia freight and passenger service until the mid-1900’s when the automobile became the transportation of choice. On display are many railroad artifacts, photos and ticket agent office. A detailed section on the telegraph system and it’s role in railroad history includes live telegraph keys where visitors can try their hand at sending messages using Morse Code


The interior of the Depot is preserved much as it looked when passengers stopped at the window to seek information or to buy a ticket for a ride to a nearby town.

The Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad Caboose #14662 was built in the Aurora shops in 1907 and was retired in 1973. Moved to the museum campus in 1974, it was opened for viewing in 1994 with exhibits about the way men lived on the road.

In October 1995, a small water tank manufactured by the United States Wind Engine and Pump Company was moved from a farm in Elburn to the museum site. It is 10-feet tall and 8-feet wide. These tanks were designed for farm use and received water pumped from a windmill through a stand pipe under the structure. Similar tanks were placed along railroad tracks so that early trains had a source of water for making steam to run their locomotives.

The bed and the dresser on display in the Lincoln Room are from the bedroom to which Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of the slain president, was assigned when she was a patient at Bellevue Place from May 20 to September 11, 1875. Other pieces of the period complete the room.

For a complete understanding of the life of this time in history you will be enthralled with the displays at the museum and want to visit often.

Location: Depot Museum, 155 Houston St., Batavia, IL.

Phone: 630-406-5274

Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday
2 – 4 p.m.
March through Thanksgiving