108 Depot Drive ē Canton, Mississippi
(601) 859-4733

Friday, November 28, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m
Saturday, November 29, 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m
Sunday, November 30, 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m

Tue.-Fri., Dec. 2-Dec. 19: 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m
Saturday. Dec. 6, 13 & 20: 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m

$2.00 for Adults
$1.00 for Children
under 12 years of age

As early as 1841 the citizens of Canton were inquiring about the possibility of rail transportation between Canton and Jackson. In January, 1852 ground was broken in Canton for the Canton & Jackson Railroad. In March 1852, the New Orleans, Jackson & Great Northern Railroad Company was organized in Louisiana and Mississippi to build and operate a railroad from New Orleans to Jackson and Canton. The Canton & Jackson Railroad was made a part of the Jackson Road.

With the outbreak of hostilities in April, 1861, brought an almost complete cessation of commercial exchange between the North and the South. The warís effect upon the traffic and operations of the Illinois Central Railroad north of the Ohio River had been told. Its effect upon the traffic earnings, and property of the New Orleans, Jackson & Great Northern and other Southern roads was nothing short of devastating.

In the fall of 1862 General Grant pushed down from Grand Junction along the Mississippi Central Railroad, seized Holly Springs, and turned the railway shops and offices into an immense supply depot. Making the University of Mississippi at Oxford their staff headquarters, Grantís forces struck at Water Valley, Coffeeville, and Grenada in quick succession and then pushed into central Mississippi. It was also in 1862 that the property on which the depot was deeded to Great Northern and the New Orleans railroad.
In 1864, General Sherman ordered the destruction of the rolling stock in Canton. Approximately 17 locomotives were seized and to be destroyed. The rails north and south of Canton were destroyed. Even though the rail system was destroyed the City of Canton did not "get the torch" as many other cities did

Sometime around 1890 the middle portion of the depot was constructed of wood. It served as the depot until 1926 when the north and south portions were added and the entire building was bricked. The additions allowed for a freight office and a cafe on the north end. The train depot served as a point of interest as many people would gather to watch the big locomotives come and go. The Vanoy cafe served as a meeting place for many to discuss current events over a cup of coffee.
Canton served as the turn around point for the engineers, conductors, flagmen, and baggage men on the Illinois Central passenger trains until around 1975-77. Canton also had Amtrak service until 1995 when the passenger service was moved to the Yazoo City line. Illinois Central continues freight service in Canton and also maintains a communications center in the depot.

Recipes from the
Panama Limited

Casey Jones and
Canton, Mississippi

To The Depot


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