History

C&NW Railroad Photo

Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Depot

In 1893 Green Bay became the headquarters of the Lake Shore Division of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway. This action resulted in expansion of the facilities at Green Bay. In 1897 the C&NW purchased land on the northwest edge of Green Bay to build a new freight yard. A new depot was to be located on the site of the old freight yard and engine house, which was the former site of the Fort Howard Military Reservation. The new yard was completed in early 1898, thereby making possible the removal of the old yard in preparation for the construction of the depot.

Charles S. Frost, a Chicago architect, designed the new depot. Mr. Frost designed most of the principle C&NW depots. Construction began in the fall of 1898 and the depot was opened to the public on July 29,1899. The building consisted of two stories. The first level housed the waiting rooms, lunchroom and ticket office. The upstairs level consisted of the agent's private office and a clubroom for employees of the C&NW Railway. The ladies' waiting room was tinted in green, and north of this was a lunchroom. The gentlemen's waiting room was finished in oak with the walls being in Venetian red. An 11' wide entrance connected the carriage way, waiting rooms and ticket office.

Titletown Brewing Company opened on December 3, 1996.

During the depot's golden age it was a bustling hub of activity. Thousands of families saw their loved ones deport for war or reunited here after its end. Among the most famous visitors here were Nat King Cole, Buddy Holly, and three presidents: Taft, Franklin Roosevelt and Eisenhower. For many residents of Green Bay and surrounding communities, the depot was a social center and a gathering place which played a significant role in families' most memorable life events.

C&NW Logo

Although regularly scheduled passenger service via the C&NW came to end on the last day of April in 1971, the depot remained a hub of C&NW activity. Even without the familiar "Peninsula 400" arriving or departing, the depot stood proud and tall as a testimony to Green Bay's railroad heritage.

During the 1980's, the nation's larger railroads began to divest themselves of their lighter density lines. The C&NW was no different. By 1987 the railroad had decided to sell the 208 mile stretch of the former Lake Shore Track between Milwaukee and Green Bay. The new railroad taking the place of the C&NW at Dousman Street was the Fox River Valley Railroad or FRVR, which operated here from 1988 to 1993. In August 1993, FRVR was sold to Wisconsin Central Transportation Corp, and the new line was called the Fox Valley & Western. In a short period of five years, the depot had three different residents: the C&NW, FRVR and FVW.

The building was vacated in August 1994 and sat idle for almost two years. That all changed in July 1996 when a group of investors began a complete renovation of the depot. Titletown Brewing Company opened on December 3, 1996. The Dousman Street Depot was alive again with the sounds of people. Titletown serves the area as an upscale eating establishment and microbrewery, while preserving the 100 year history of this Green Bay landmark. In December 1999, the depot was officially named to the National Register of Historic Places. Titletown is pleased to welcome you as a visitor to the depot. As you enjoy your food and drink, we hope you will take some time to look around the building and remember its rich history.