I originally posted this information on my old website on March 26, 2009, and last updated it on December 18, 2009.
The Santiam Travel Station is the former Southern Pacific Railroad depot in Lebanon. The Albany-Lebanon Railroad was completed in September 1880, and a depot was built north of Sherman Street. In October 1880, the railroad was taken over by the Oregon & California Railroad. On May 12, 1887, the Southern Pacific Railroad took over the Oregon & California Railroad. This new depot was built in 1908, to Southern Pacific’s design number 23.
In 1984, the Southern Pacific depot in Lebanon closed. It had been many, many years since passenger trains had served Lebanon, but the depot had still served as an office for an agent to handle freight business. In March of 1993, the Willamette Valley Railway leased the line from Albany to Mill City from the Southern Pacific (now Union Pacific), and in May of 1998, the line to Sweet Home was purchased from BNSF. The railroad has operated as the Albany & Eastern Railroad since 2000.
The Lebanon depot was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 13, 1997. It is one of two Southern Pacific No. 23 depots in Oregon remaining in its original location. It was renovated into the Santiam Travel Station and was dedicated on October 22, 2003. It is now cared for by the Lebanon City Parks Department, and is used as a council chambers and community center.