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Historic Train Depot Opens Its Doors To Community

Bethany, IL - Bethany's train depot, built by the Illinois Central Railroad in 1923, is celebrating its 80th birthday and will once again open its doors to the community on Friday, Sept. 19.  Principal Paula Duis and teachers of Bethany Elementary School will lead some 200 students from 9-11 a.m. to tour this historic building, adorned with train memorabilia, mannequins dressed in 1940's apparel, including a conductor in full uniform.  Bob Vanatta, the last Depot agent when the Depot closed in 1969, will be on hand to demonstrate his telegraph key, describe what his job involved and answer questions.  Illinois Central Railroad representative Gary Neeble will present Operation Life Saver in the school gymnasium beforehand at 8 a.m., to offer important safety tips about living, working and playing around the railroad tracks which run through the heart of this small town.  The general public is invited to tour the Depot on Sept. 19 from 4-7 p.m.


            Depot owner Cindy Sanner and friend Fay Rentz created the event within a Landmark Education personal development and leadership program they attended in Chicago (www.landmarkeducation.com) where they were asked to consider what would be the probable, almost certain future of a community if no action were taken.  Sanner states, Bethany is my hometown, which I've always been very proud of.  We want to contribute to our community's vision of downtown returning to the charming, fun, memorable place it was in times past.  In this spirit, local residents Cheryl and Punch Martin are planning a mid-October grand opening of the Depot to the public in a unique business venture called, Take A Seat, selling antiques, primitives, florals, and other items.  They will also offer coffee, hot chocolate, desserts, ice cream, and carriage and sleigh rides throughout the seasons.   

For more information, call Fay Rentz or Cindy Sanner at (312) 642-6059, (312) 504-4312, or Email them at faycin@aol.com.




Depot Owner Cindy Sanner purchases a ticket in the Waiting Room.


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