The History Center uses exhibits, both on-site and on-line, to showcase some of our vast collections of documents and photographs.
East Texas Railroad Photograph Selections
Lufkin Railroad Depot, Southern Pacific Lines, Texas, circa 1959
This photograph, made by Latane Temple in about 1959, shows the Southern Pacific passenger depot at Lufkin, view looking northward. Most (the north end) of this brick structure was built in the summer of 1914, replacing an earlier wooden depot which was destroyed by a dynamite explosion set off intentionally by George Frank Parsons, a railroad employee (a ticket agent at the depot) on the night of March 2, 1913. In the aftermath, Lufkin boosters feared their city might lose the railroad company's subdivisional headquarters to Nacogdoches, so they campaigned fiercely for an improved replacement depot, at least similar to Nacogdoches' brick depot built a few years earlier. (Both cities were about halfway between the railroad terminals at Houston, Texas and Shreveport, Louisiana). After railroad officials discontinued passenger service on the line in the 1950's (day trains were discontinued in August 1954 and night trains were discontinued in September 1955), a new generation of Lufkinites saw their depot as an antiquated eyesore that impeded modern progress. The depot was demolished in 1960, leaving yet a later generation of citizens to lament the decision. The Nacogdoches depot survived and was restored and revitalized in the 2000's, serving as a community museum and meeting place.