Wabuska Railroad Station

Wabuska Railroad Station

Early rail service to Wabuska was operated by the Carson and Colorado Railroad Company, until 1900, when the Southern Pacific Railroad purchased the company. During the early 1900s, the Wabuska region served as the principal supplier of agricultural products for the mining camps of Tonopah and Goldfield. Increased freight traffic between Wabuska and the neighboring mining camps coupled with the discovery of copper ore in the Mason Valley prompted the Southern Pacific to erect a new depot in Wabuska. By August 1906, a crew of eight Southern Pacific carpenters were working on the new station, which opened for business by October. From 1910 to 1947, Wabuska also served as the transfer point for the Nevada Copper Belt Railroad, a major carrier of copper ore. The depot is a single story, wood-frame building, 24 feet wide by 80 feet long with a gable roof, the eaves of which project several feet from the exterior walls. This overhang is supported by brackets. A large bay window on one side of the building originally housed the ticket office, while the other three sides contained sliding freight doors. The interior of the depot was divided into three rooms; the south half of the building accommodated freight, the center contained the ticket office, and the northern end served as the passenger waiting room. The station is typical of early 20th-century Nevada depot architecture, one of the few examples in the state today, and one of the last two surviving stations of the Hazen to Mina branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Of the seven stations constructed to serve this branch, only the Wabuska and a freight station in Mina survive. The Wabuska remained in active service until declining freight and passenger service forced the station to close in 1979. Instead of demolishing the vacant depot, the Southern Pacific donated it to the Nevada State Railroad Museum. In 1983, the depot was moved to the museum complex in Carson City and restored.