Stop 10: Ennis Railroad Museum

105 Northeast Main Street



Welcome to Stop 10 of the Rales, Bales and Bluebonnet Trails historic downtown Ennis walking tour. The Ennis Railroad Museum occupies the former Railroad Meal Station, built in 1915 to feed track personnel between shifts. It later became a public restaurant and then the passenger station. The Ennis Main Street Project led the drive to transform it into a museum where you can hear the story of the railroad’s critical role in the creation and history of Ennis. There once were three sets of tracks here and a wide apron on what is now Northwest Main Street. Train cars were loaded and unloaded here around the clock. There was a lumberyard where building materials were brought in from Houston. South of the station on East Main Street there was a cotton platform for collecting and loading bales. Throughout the early years of the century, many notables visited Ennis through its popular depot, changing trains and sometimes posing for photo ops. President William Howard Taft passed through the Ennis station in 1909 on his way to Houston. Hollywood star Ginger Rogers as a little girl was kidnapped by her estranged father who arrived with her by train at the depot here. Rogers was later recovered by her mother in a dramatic custody battle in 1913. And President Franklin Delano Roosevelt made a campaign stop here in the 1930s, waving and making an impromptu speech from the back of his train. If you stand here long enough you will hear and feel one of the 25 or so trains that still thunder through every day.