Sorting through photos at the museum the other day, I came across this battered 5x7-inch aerial view of the C.B.&Q. rail yards in northwest Chariton, taken during 1923 (or does the inked inscription read 1925?). One or the other.
It was among items collected by the late Gary Tharp and given to the historical society by his brother, Ronny, after Gary's death. And somehow it had gotten misfield, which actually is why I found it. But that's another story.
Much has changed, but the landscape still is recognizable if you know where to look.
The big expanse of open ground in the foreground now is Eikenberry Park. and this battered old elevator, in its heydey and located in the lower right hand corner of the aerial view, still stands.
The C.B.&Q. Freight House, now owned and administered by the Arts Council, is just above the elevator on the right. It's had the best luck of any of the old C.B.&Q. buildings.
The C.B.&Q. Depot with restaurants on the ground floor and a hotel above, in the center of the photograph, was torn down and replaced in 1943.
The ice plant is to the right across the tracks east of the depot.
And the once lively (some said too lively) business district known for some reason as The Levee still could be seen across the street to the left of the depot.
Chariton still is a railroad town --- a Burlington Northern & Santa Fe coal train is rumbling by a block and a half east as I write. In East Chariton, the north-south Union Pacific tracks still are busy. But sadly, none of those trains stop here anymore.