Join the Campaign to Complete the Depot's Roof Restoration!

In 2014 the Jeffris Family Foundation awarded a $333,000 one-third matching grant toward the estimated $1 million cost of restoring the Depot's clay tile roof and central tower. By the Depot's 125th anniversary in July 2016 it was evident that the Keokuk Union Depot Foundation would achieve the remaining $667,000. The State Historical Society of Iowa, Historical Resource Development Program has also supported this project with significant grants. Consequently, work commenced on reconstruction of the Depot's central tower in the summer of 2016.

The capital campaign continues into 2017 because additional funds must be raised to address needs that came to light during the restoration work. This letter from Depot Foundation president Janet M. Smith explains the need to continue the Capital Campaign. Click here to download the Capital Campaign pledge form. (For a fillable PDF form, click here.) For more information visit the "Depot 125" Capital Campaign page.

Visit the Depot Gift Shoppe!

You can also support the Depot by registering with Amazon Smile. Once you set up "Keokuk Union Depot Foundation"
as recipient of your donations, a percentage of every Amazon purchase benefits the Depot capital campaign. Then
change your Amazon bookmark(s) to go to Amazon Smile and it will appear just like your regular Amazon page.
(Don't forget to do this with every browser you use, such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, or Opera.)

The Keokuk Union Depot Foundation

Donations for the restoration of the Keokuk Union Depot are made through the Keokuk Union Depot Foundation, established in September 2012 as an Iowa not-for-profit corporation. Your donation to the Depot Foundation is tax-deductible. The Keokuk Union Depot Foundation is a tax-exempt charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. To view the Depot Foundation's Form 990 return for 2015, click here (opens as PDF in a separate window).

Donate Funds Via PayPal

The Foundation's principal goal has been to develop the funding for restoration of the Depot's roof. The aim has been to restore the building to its 1891 appearance by reconstructing the peaked central tower that was truncated around 1950; replacing the deteriorated shingled roofing (see photo at the bottom of this page) with clay tiles; restoring the gutters; and rebuilding the chimney. Restoric LLC, a Chicago firm specializing in restoration of historic buildings, prepared a detailed Historic Structures Report that guides the ongoing restoration work.

Wedding Reception Setup, 2013
The Depot waiting room set up for a wedding rehearsal
dinner in July 2014. Photo by Richard Leonard

In 2014 the Jeffris Family Foundation of Janesville, Wisconsin, awarded a one-third matching grant of $333,000 toward the roof restoration. The Depot Foundation raised the remaining $667,000 to achieve the initial Capital Campaign goal of $1 million, allowing work on the central tower to begin in 2016\ during the Depot's 125th anniversary year. Significant grants by the Iowa Historical Resource Development Program (HRDP) also instrumental in accelerating work on the building's eaves and construction of the central tower's apex. The Capital Campaign continues into 2017 to raise the resources for additional needs that surfaced during restoration activities.

Model of the Restored Depot
This model of the restored Depot was created by Christen and
Matthew Martin of Restoric LLC. Photo by Richard Leonard

In 2014 Christen Sundquist Martin and her husband Matthew Martin, of Restoric LLC, created an O-gauge scale model of the restored Depot that has been displayed at various locations in Keokuk to raise awareness of the Depot project. The model features removable roof sections for an interior view, and compares the restored tile roof with the prior shingled roof. To learn how the Martins painstakingly designed and assembled the model, read Christen's article in the February 2016 issue of the Keokuk Confluence, published by the Keokuk Cultural and Entertainment District (opens as a PDF file in a new window).

Donate Directly

Send your gift to:
Keokuk Union Depot Foundation
P.O. Box 463, Keokuk, IA 52632

Your donation toward the preservation of the Depot is always supplemented by the work of our loyal corps of volunteers, whose labors help to reduce the cost of any project. To review the progress of restoration efforts by both volunteers and special contractors, visit our Preservation Activity page.

Quester Auction, September 2013
An auction sponsored by the Questers on September 21, 2013
netted more than $8200 toward the work of preserving
the Depot. Photo by Richard Leonard

The Questers have granted more than $14,000 toward restoration of the waiting room's interior paneling and doorways, a project completed in 2015. Other interior work awaiting funding includes restoring the ticket office to its earlier appearance. As the photo below shows, some of the wood paneling had been removed to provide access from the waiting room. Originally, however, there were only the two ticket windows on either side and the train bulletin board on the front; access was through a smaller door at the far end. Renovation of the platform umbrella (train shed) is a future exterior project to be separately funded.

Ticket Office, 1969 and 2012
At left is the ticket window as originally built, except for the coat
of paint. 1969 Photo by Alan Brotherton. At right is the current
appearance, with much of the paneling removed.

Switchback Concert, December 2016
The popular duo "Switchback" presented a concert of American roots and celtic soul music at the Depot on December 3, 2016. Photo by Sandra Seabold

Pictured on this page are some of the events the Depot has hosted during the past several years. The waiting room is equipped with heat, air conditioning, and rest rooms. Although work remains to be done, the building is usable year-round and available for a variety of community events such as concerts, class and family reunions, weddings or wedding receptions, showers, and group meetings. A schedule of recent and forthcoming events at the Depot appears at the top of our home page.

Model Train Layout, 2013
Depot Foundation director Richard Leonard, in conductor's costume, demonstrates his HO gauge model train to young visitors during the Keokuk "Power 100" celebration, June 2013. Photo by Sandra Seabold

Pledge Toward the Roof Project

Click here to download a form to to use when
sending your pledge to the "Depot 125" capital
campaign. For a fillable form, Click here.
Go here for more information.

You can support the Keokuk Union Depot restoration effort by by pledging to the capital fund drive for restoration of the roof. You can also order gift and souvenir items through the Depot Gift Shoppe.

Farmer's Market Table, 2013
The Foundation offers a variety of Depot gift and souvenir items, such as
these T-shirts being sold at the Keokuk Farmers' Market in 2013.
For items currently available, visit the Depot Gift Shoppe.
Photo by Richard Leonard

Keokuk Union Depot Foundation

Janet Smith, President
David Morgan, Vice-President
Robert Woodburn, Secretary
Sandra Seabold, Treasurer

Joyce Glasscock
Richard Leonard
Debra Marion
Mary Jo Scheetz

Polar Express, December 2012
Santa, with his elves and reindeer, makes his appearance to 170
Keokuk public school children on December 12, 2012 as the
Depot hosts "The Polar Express." Photo by Richard Leonard

Donating Stock

The Foundation maintains an account through which it can receive donations of stock. To arrange for such a donation:

Please include the following information in your inquiry:

  • Your name, address and telephone number
  • The name of the company that is the subject of your donation
  • The number of shares of stock to be transferred
  • The date on which you want to make the transfer

A board member of the Foundation will contact you and provide you with the information you need to complete the transfer. Thank you for your generous support.

Book Signing, June 2012
Author Chuck Spinner of Jamestown, New York, presents his book,
The Tragedy at the Loomis Street Crossing, to an audience at the
Depot on June 7, 2012. Photo by Richard Leonard

The Depot in August 2015
This image from August 2015 provides a view of the platform umbrella (train shed), and reveals the truncated central tower before it was restored
to its original height in 2016. Also shown is temporary protective metal roofing over the freight area, which is being replaced by tiles in 2017.
Restoration of the entire roof to its 1891 tiled appearance has been the Foundation's major goal. The Jeffris Family Foundation awarded
a $333,000 one-third matching grant for this purpose, which was met in 2016 through a Capital Campaign that raised $667,000.
Additional funds will be required to cover needs that surfaced once restoration work was under way. Photo by Neal Vogel