I originally posted this information on my old website on March 26, 2009, and last updated it on December 18, 2009.
John G. Heimrich established the Great Southern Railroad in 1904, building from a connection with the Oregon Railway & Navigation Company in The Dalles through Boyd to Dufur. The railroad ultimately reached the town of Friend, 41 miles from The Dalles, in 1913. The railroad carried passengers, mail, express, wheat and forest products and its revenues peaked in 1910. The regular passenger train left Friend at 8 a.m., arrived at The Dalles in time to connect with a noon train on the O.R.& N., and arrived back in Friend in the evening.
Competition from automobiles, buses and trucks led to a decline in the 1920s and regular service ended in 1928. An attempt to restart service as The Dalles and Southern failed in 1933. The line was abandoned in 1935 and the Wasco County Court scrapped the line in 1936 to cover unpaid taxes.
This depot, built in 1915 to replace an earlier depot destroyed by fire in 1910, is one of the very few remnants of the railroad. In the 1940s, it was moved a short distance from its original location to where it is now. Today it is a gift shop and apartments.
Great Southern Railroad Train in The Dalles, 1907 (CGDC)
View of old Great Southern Railroad Depot, 1910 (CGDC)
View of old Great Southern Railroad Depot, 1915 (CGDC)
Great Southern Railroad Jitney, circa 1920 (CGDC)
Great Southern Railroad Depot (CGDC)
Great Southern Railroad Depot, 1932 (CGDC)