Anna Train Depot on track for Sept. 18 grand opening

By Joshua Baethge
For the Anna-Melissa Tribune
Anna Train Depot and Museum director Elden Baker says that he is excited for neighbors to soon come and check out the new facility.

Last week, the Anna Area Historical Preservation Society and the Anna Neighborhood Services Department welcomed community members into the newly restored Train Depot and Museum for the first time.  Over the next two months, it will open periodically on a limited based until the official grand opening on Sept. 18. 

It’s a milestone that has been years in the making. Initially, museum director Elden Baker and others with the preservation society focused on rescuing and restoring the old depot.  Once that was accomplished in 2019, they turned their attention to creating a local history museum befitting the unique location. 

“It was a big paradigm shift,” Bake says. “We’ve gone through a lot of learning.” 

What people will find when they visit the museum will be multiple exhibits focusing on Anna life the way it used to be. Since the building is a train depot, Baker says that there will always be a railroad theme. That includes a railroad telegraph office that will show how train conductors communicated with each other before radios and other means were common. The museum was also gifted a 1905 Kellogg phone. 

Anna Train Depot and Museum director Elden Baker says that he is excited for neighbors to soon come and check out the new facility.

Other exhibits will change from time to time. Currently, there is an extensive collection of Anna ISD memorabilia is being shown.  Among the items on display are an original Anna school desk, old letter jackets, class rings, annuals from almost every school year and the original Anna school bell.  

Another display highlights the history of the Anna Fire Department.  Those items will be moved to the new first station down the road once construction of that facility is completed. 

Baker says that when the depot was first restored there were not a lot of items on hand to display.  Since then, the response from the community has been so overwhelming that the museum has  had to become much more selective about what items accept   

“This has been a labor of love for years,” Baker says. “I am very excited about it.”