All 25-year-old train enthusiast Chris Kreball wanted for his birthday was to save the Historic Milwaukee Road Depot in Charles City from certain demolition by July of 2020. To do this, he logged onto Facebook and created a fundraising page for that exact purpose. The funds were to be taken on December 3rd, also known as, ‘Giving Tuesday’. This was smart planning by Kreball, as on this day, Facebook had pledged to double any fundraising page on its website.
Kreball’s goal was $300 – which he easily reached. And because it was Giving Tuesday, Facebook doubled that total to $600. But, as many other city supporters know, that will not be enough to salvage this gold-age portion of railway history – as the estimated cost of relocation is around $300,000.
There is a group attempting this rescue mission called, “Friends of Save the Depot,” which has received backing from businesses like 1st Security, Stewart Realty, Comet Bowl, Charles Theater, among many others. At 1st Security you can pick up pledge cards that can be sent in to donate to the project.
The famous CP Holiday Train is stopping right next to the depot on Saturday at 8 a.m. and for its performance, the resistance has decided to couple the show with an open house to continue the efforts towards saving the depot.
A video titled ‘Save the Depot’ was published on the Charles City Public Access Network YouTube channel back in September strongly urging locals to donate. The video explains how the fate of the depot is solely on the community’s shoulders.