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kelso station photo
Lobby

The Kelso lobby has served as the main entrance to the building since its construction in 1924. Visitors, Union Pacific employees, and Kelso residents gained access through the lobby to the depot's lunch room, or beanery, basement recreation rooms, or lodging rooms, as appropriate. An attendant, or lunch room manager, at the lobby desk behind the counter staffed the cash register, ringing up beanery customers, and assigned the second floor rooms to UP workers in need of a room in which to sleep while in Kelso. A few small items were available for sale at the lobby desk; originally cigars were showcased in the lobby display, in 1954 and perhaps later cigarettes were sold, and by the 1960s milk was available here. In the 1930s other items such as candy and gum could also be purchased, and they were displayed in a vertical case, kept cool with blocks of ice, at the side of the stairs to the second floor.

In the post-war years difficulties with transients and some temporary workers in the area led to people sleeping on the floor in the Kelso Depot lobby. Mr. C.A. Keller in the DC&H Department in Ogden, UT thought that "extra gang laborers, most of whom are Indians, come into Kelso for a day or two before receiving their money….without funds, would take care of themselves during the day, but at night when it was cold would come into the lobby and sleep on the floor and made somewhat of a nuisance of themselves. It is not often they become unruly however." Roadmaster Simmons attributed the problem to "...transients moving through Kelso on freight trains... board the trains either at Las Vegas or Yermo and by the time they arrive at Kelso they are cold and hungry so they get off the train and make Kelso their headquarters. However, I will do what I can to discourage laborers from receiving their time vouchers at Kelso." While not a regular occurrence, it was nonetheless troublesome for the depot manager.

At least once in the 1950s the lobby served as an extension of the lunch counter with tables set up for eating when a large crew was in the area. This had been the original design for the lunch room — the 1924 drawing indicated two round tables with chairs in the adjoining lobby area as an extension of the lunch room — but the volume of business in Kelso had rarely required such a set-up and these were not put in until around the 1950s. Indeed, the Club House manager often worked in this spare space at a separate table in the north end of the lobby. By at least 1957 the north end of the lobby appears to have been where a group of Union Pacific employees regularly gathered to play poker.
Kelso Depot



Building Exterior
Front of depot
Arcade from east
Arcade from west
Tracks from front

Main Floor
Lobby
Beanery
Theatre
Exhibit room
Exhibit room
Exhibit room
Exhibit room
Bookstore
Exhibit room
Baggage room
Ticket/Telegraph Office
Conductor's Office

Second Floor
Exhibit room
Exhibit room
Exhibit room
Exhibit room
Sleeping quarters
Sleeping quarters
Library
Map room

Basement
Meeting Room
ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - glossary - comments
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