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Depot, now Pedal & Cup, celebrates centennial



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Springfield depot photo from sometime between 1918 to 1920. (click for larger version)
May 25, 2011 | 08:57 AM
Springfield — One hundred years of memories will be celebrated Saturday and Sunday, June 11 and 12, at the Rails to Trails Celebration at Pedal & Cup Bike Rental in Springfield. Special events will take place at various times during both days to commemorate the 1911 reconstruction of the Springfield depot following a devastating fire in 1910.

Historical performer Chris Brookes will present "If Walls Could Talk" at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The Whistle Junction quartet performs at 2:30 p.m., followed by an ice cream social benefit for the Springfield Union Cemetery.

Staff at Pedal & Cup will be dressed in turn-of-the century styles to remind visitors of the bygone days of the depot, now home to Pedal & Cup.

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Classic cars will be displayed from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Crippled Hand Pete will play front porch music from noon to 4 p.m., and face painting and balloon sculpture will take place from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., with Cuddles the Clown and Billy Boy.

Karen Schinke, owner of the business, inaugurated themed gatherings at the depot six years ago. "We hope to rekindle the memories of bygone days while celebrating a new spirit of hospitality in Springfield — from rails to trails," she said.

Visitors are encouraged to dress in the theme and celebrate a century of memories. For more information, call (262) 249-1111.

Today, the bright red, former railroad depot is a combination resting spot, bike rental, snack shop and tourist stop owned by Tim and Karen Schinke of Springfield.

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The Schinkes have been running the little shop for six years now. The little shop opened its doors the first weekend in May. Inside, the Pedal & Cup has several tables. There are racks of tourist books, hand-made crafts and postcards. Its menu is handwritten on a blackboard.

The floors, walls and woodworking are preserved from the shop's railroad depot days. The stationmaster's desk is still in the building, just behind the counter.

In the 1950s, Tim Schinke's father bought the old railroad depot as an office and storage building for his lumberyard. He had to move the building across Highway 120 to his property.

Karen Schinke said the Depot's remodeling isn't done yet. She said she hopes to convert a storage room to retail, or turn it into a meeting space.

Pedal & Cup is at the midway point on the White River Trail, a 12-mile bike-and-hike path that runs from Elkhorn to Burlington, and traverses Springfield and Lyons in Walworth County.

The White River State Trail follows a former rail corridor passing by a number of bridges, small towns, farmlands, and wetlands.

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