Monday, July 30, 2018

Perry County

I headed out the other weekend to get a few pictures, driving west into the Ouachita Mountains. The first stop was a few places in Perry County, including the St. Boniface Catholic Church. This is definitely one of the prettiest churches in the state. The church was built in 1906, with a steeple that is 95 feet tall (or about the size of a nine story building).


The church was open, and I went inside to take a look. The massive altar at the front of the church actually dates back to 1901, to the first church built here. That church caught fire in 1906, but the altar was saved and was installed in the rebuilt church.


From there I headed on west towards the small town of Perry. I've always known Perry as being a bit of a speed-trap, but it is also home to a historic old train station that was built in 1918.


The train station was built to serve the Rock Island Railroad, which eventually ran from Memphis to Amarillo, Texas. The Rock Island ceased operations in 1980, but the rails are still used by a shortline railroad that runs between Little Rock and Danville (the Little Rock & Western Railway). The old station is used for storage, and a metal locomotive shop was built right behind the old station.


Last year the railroad decided to construct a new machine shop, which meant demolishing the old train station. Luckily preservationists were able to make a deal, and it appears that the old station will be saved. The century-old building will be moved about 150 feet over to property owned by the city of Perry, with the eventual hope that the building will be turned into a museum. It's always great to see old buildings like this be saved.


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