f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Cape Girardeau Northern depot

Posted Wednesday, February 23, 2011, at 7:30 AM

May 19, 1960 Southeast Missourian

This picture of the old Cape Girardeau Northern depot building at Middle and Independence streets doesn't show in detail the dilapidated condition into which the once-fine building has fallen. Glass in the windows is broken; the doors to the basement have been boarded up and the interior is a general mess. In times of excessive rains, water floods the basement. Built nearly 60 years ago by the Houck interests when the Cape Girardeau Northern Railroad was put through, it is now the property of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. (G.D. Fronabarger photo)

Editor's Note:

Railroad entrepreneur Louis Houck completed basic lines of the Cape Girardeau Northern in 1905. They extended from the Thebes, Ill. bridge to Cape Girardeau and on to Jackson, to Perryville and to the Perryville junction on the Frisco road opposite Chester, Ill. In Cape Girardeau, underpasses had to be constructed at Good Hope and Morgan Oak streets. Later the Frisco Railroad purchased the Houck lines.

The Missouri Pacific Railroad purchased the old Cape Girardeau Northern Railroad in 1927. The railroad built a line covering 7.7 miles from Illmo to Cape Girardeau that went into service in 1928. The company also built a freight station on the southeast corner of Frederick and Independence.


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  • I'm in the middle of a fascinating book, A Missouri Railroad Pioneer, The Life of Louis Houck.

    Growing up in Cape, it's hard not to hear the name Houck: Houck Field House, Houck Stadium and the like, but I never realized what a character the man was.

    Southeast Missouri would look entirely different had he not come along. You tend to think of history as something that happened hundreds of years ago, but you can measure the time between now and Houck in decades, not centuries.

    My family has one oft-repeated story about the Houck Railroad. Dad's construction company had the contract to widen the road through the railroad cut on Old Jackson Road. Things didn't go quite as planned.


    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Wed, Feb 23, 2011, at 4:55 PM
  • The CG Northern depot never served passenger in my lifetime, but MOPAC's slow moving trains running west from there to Landgraff's, Pollack Hide & Steel and across Kingshighway, oft served as such for students going to or from Jr. High during the 50's and very early 60's before the new building was constructed on Caruthers.

    -- Posted by semowasp on Fri, Feb 25, 2011, at 3:08 PM