Experience the Railway Heritage of Central Mississippi!
The Railroad Comes to Canton! For more information, contact the Train Museum at 601-859-4733.
The Depot was built in 1890 and in 1926 the north and south buildings were added. The Illinois Central Railroad Company owned and maintained the depot until 1991 when it was purchased by the Canton Redevelopment Authority.
The restoration was completed in June, 1999. The museum reflects the history of Madison County and how the "iron horse" affected social and economic growth and development, particularly the area in and around Canton.
Canton was a part of the "glory days" of the Illinois Central system, both passenger and freight. From the introduction of the Panama Limited to the "piggyback" freight trains, Canton was the turn around point for train crew personnel from Memphis and New Orleans. Thus the crews were in Canton several hours each trip. At one point a YMCA was built across the street from the depot so the train crews would have somewhere to go while waiting for their return trip home.
The freight trains provided a means for transporting the county's farm produce to markets outside the county and the state. The lumber industry flourished and even today the trains carry logs from the International Paper Yard in Canton.
The passenger trains: the Green Diamond, the Panama Limited, the City of New Orleans, the Louisaane, and the Creole, all provided a special transportation experience. A passenger could dine in a car that served the meals on china, silver, and crystal, designed especially for Illinois Central. Pullman cars were introduced so passengers could sleep on the train and take longer trips. Observation cars allowed the passengers a better view of the countryside. It was in the 1960 - 70's, when the interstate systems were introduced, that the number of passengers on the trains began to decline.
The Depot Museum celebrates that segment of history in Canton and Madison County which continues to attract railroad and history enthusiasts from all walks of life. From the Mississippi Central and the Great Northern to the Illinois Central, Amtrack, and now Canadian owned Illinois Central, Canton continues to be on the mainline of mid-America.
For more information or to schedule a visit, contact the Canton Train Museum at 601-859-4733 or send an email.