Improving Safety at the Train Depot

In 1896, the Woman’s Club wrote a petition to the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Company calling attention to the Wilmette train depot’s various hazards. Along with its unsanitary bathroom, which did not contain plumbing, the depot itself was situated on the wrong side of the train tracks, which forced morning commuters to precariously cross the tracks each day.

 

The Woman's Club, by arguing they spoke for all Wilmette residents and leveraging their patronage of the train service, added significant pressure to their demands:

"The relations between the citizens of Wilmette and the Chicago & Northwestern railway company have ever been most cordial and friendly, and the company cannot afford to sever or strain such relations by refusal or neglect of the reasonable request of the undersigned, members of the Woman's Club of Wilmette."

The petition worked - in 1897, the village replaced the depot with a new station positioned correctly and meeting sanitation requirements.

Wilmette Depot

To learn about the future of the old train depot, visit our exhibit:

The Depot Move