Burlington Northern #12068 - Thayer, MO
Posted by: YoSam.
N 36° 31.383 W 091° 32.085
15S E 631186 N 4042963
Quick Description: Once a McDonald's display, now a visitors center and museum.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 10/27/2008 6:43:06 AM
Waymark Code: WM51Q3
History provided by: The Tourist Information Center and Railroad Museum.
County of Caboose: Oregon County.
Location of Caboose: MO-142 & US-63, caboose adjacent to McDonald's, Thayer.
History of Railroads in Thayer:
Thayer was built along the rails of the Kansas City, Springfield and Memphis Railroad.
When the railroad planned to run a line through the area planners decided Mammoth Spring, Ark., was the best place for the division point. Railroad officials thought the land in Arkansas they wanted to buy was too expensive, so they settled on the Thayer area.
The town was then appropriately named "Division". In March of 1884 the county ordered a public road be built between Alton, the County Seat, and the town to be known as Augusta. In February 1885 the name "Division" was changed to "Augusta".
After a search by Missouri State officials, it was discovered that the name of "Augusta" was already taken by a town in St. Charles County [and still there]. The name was changed once more, this time to Thayer, in honor of Nathaniel Thayer, who was director of the Kansas City, Springfield and Memphis Railroad.
Starting in the mid to late 1880's, the survival of Thayer depended on the life of the railroad.
At one time there were as many as 400 railroad workers living at Thayer. The majority of businesses in the town were there for one reason only, to support the railroad and its workers.
One of the earliest buildings constructed in Thayer was the Frisco Hotel. It was built to house Frisco employees and later guests and travelers. It was located on what is now Front Street and faced the railroad tracks.
Passenger service to Thayer by what eventually became the Frisco Railroad ceased in 1968. Frisco sold to Burlington Northern in 1980 and the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroads merged in 1995.
The train depot remains in Thayer. Springfield crews ride the train to Thayer where they lay over at the Mammoth Spring Lodge. The Thayer crew boards the train and rides to Memphis where they lay over.
Approximately 30 trains a day pass through the city headed to Memphis. The majority of the trains are carrying coal from out west.
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad is still the largest employer in Thayer. Approximately 250 Thayer residents are employed by them, making it the community's largest employer.
My photo is from 2006. To see the original display (2001) you can see it here: