Opdyke L & N Depot
Also known as Updyke, Opdike
Northeast of the intersection of East Jefferson Avenue and East Sixth Street
Estimated GPS Coordinates: 38.260128,-88.790296
In 1870, Odyke, IL was surveyed by railroad personnel. One of the men was George Opdyke. He offered to buy bells for all future churches if the new town that would be located by the railroad was named after him. The first sanctuary was built in 1870 and a bell later provided by Mr. Opdyke in 1872. An inscription states “Holbrook & Sons, East Medway, Mass. 1872”. It is displayed by the Jefferson County Historical Society at the Schweinfurth Museum in Mt. Vernon, IL.
The first depot was built in 1870 but destroyed by fire caused by lightning on May 6th, 1900 according to a newspapers.com article from the Mt. Vernon Register. The 1902 Annual Report of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission of the State of Illinois reported that a new depot had been constructed in Opdike between 1896 and 1902.
J. C. Tucker established a telegraph school located over Garrison’s store that operated until around 1915 according to the February, 1963 edition of the L & N Magazine. The use of telephones to dispatch trains hastened its closing.
A History of Opdyke, Illinois
By Mrs. Lee Ann Arnold, 1919
Opdyke Bell by Joe Ashbrook
The Jeffersonian, Fall 2014
1902 Annual Report of the Railroad and Warehouse Commission of the State of Illinois
Hathitrust Digital Library
Aerial View of Opdyke 1938
Illinois Historical Aerial Photographs
L & N Locomotive Arrives at Opdyke
Tucker Bros. School of Telegraphy, Opdyke
Farm & Fireside, January 1, 1903