Amboy Depot Commission to host open house on Oct. 3


AMBOY — The Amboy Depot Commission would like to invite the public to come to an open house on Saturday, Oct 3, at 10:30 – 11:30 a.m., and view our outdoor Museum grounds. They ask that everyone please wear a mask and because this is outdoors, they feel the 6-feet will be no problem for our public.    

Last year, on Oct. 3, our community and county shared the loss of one of our beloved citizens, Sharon U. Thompson. As a native Amboyan, we all were proud of her accomplishments as Lee County Treasurer for 20 years, elected President of the Illinois County Treasurers’ Association in 1982/83. She served on the SVCC Board of Trustees in 1996.  Selected by the Governor of Illinois to serve on the Property Tax Appeal Board and also was a realtor-broker for Burke Realty for 20 years. As busy as she was, she also volunteered for the museum during many Depot Days. Our organization wanted to honor her today with a memorial brick that will be dedicated to her family in our Memorial Brick Pad earlier in the day.

During 2018, we ran a campaign to get all school classes remembered by purchasing a Memorial brick for our brick pad that sits east of the train. It was such a success that it was voted to make a new brick pad designated for all the school associated bricks. The new pad was completed just before Depot Days 2019 but never got dedicated to our community.  The new pad is located at the north end of Clint Conway Park by the Palmer School House.  

Also, during Depot Days 2019, the Illinois Society Children of the American Revolution presented our museum with a Bronze Bench depicting two children who road the Orphan Train sitting on the bench holding a toy. 

We just installed the bronze informational plaque next to the bench. It is truly a beautiful piece of art to be viewed by all. The group selected our museum because the Orphan Train movement stopped in Amboy and the sitting president, Bryn Callahan, who selected the project also had an ancestor who rode the Orphan Train from New York City orphanage to Illinois. 

Our newest addition to our campus is two cement benches and one cement square picnic table with four attached benches. Three families donated these memorial items. A plaque will be on each cement piece. Shirlene Lowe purchased a red brick cement bench in memory of her husband, Robert.  

The children of Helen Glessner, a past president of the Depot Museum Commission and local teacher also purchased a matching red brick cement bench. Both benches will be placed along the sidewalk from the Museum to the Palmer School House.

Kathleen and Mary Louise Branigan along with the Joanne Branigan Trust from Phoenix, Ariz., purchased a red brick cement square picnic table with four benches in memory of their parent’s, Frank and Kathryn Branigan, local business – Branigan Motors.  This picnic bench will be placed across the street from the Lee County Tourism Building, north of the museum.  

The Depot Museum would like to thank these three families for their generous donation to help beautify our Clint Conway Park.  

The Commission members will be around for any tours of the buildings or to answer any questions. The Depot Museum, Freight House and Palmer School House will all be open for viewing. 

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