JANUARY RECIPIENT … Pictured are Dr. John Trippy, owner, Ben Adams, board member of Bryan Development Foundation, and Joh Wheeler, manager of Third Rail Saloon. (PHOTO PROVIDED)
To recognize local investment in buildings, landscaping, and other improvements, the Bryan Development Foundation has created a monthly “Spotlight Award.”
January’s recipient is Third Rail Saloon located at 110 West Edgerton Street, owned by Dr. John Trippy and managed by John Wheeler. Dr. Trippy has provided the following write up.
Please enjoy his great perspective, of which gives you a clue to the love and creativity that went into creating Third Rail Saloon:
Imagine the historic 1867 Bryan train station built shortly after the Civil War. The East-West Railroad had not been connected, meaning no railroad transportation to and through the developing frontier.
There were still thousands of bison roaming the West and the “Indian problem” did not allow for free movement. Chief Red Cloud firmly controlled the wagon trains.
In 2016, the depot was in very poor condition, but thankfully John Marquis (former owner) had held onto it and saw that to have the depot saved, meant letting go of his dream and railroad passion.
Upon purchasing, structural improvements required immediate attention, with a new roof being step one. Restoring a building is only half the battle in saving Bryan’s historic soul.
As depot improvements continued, a small museum and renovations that left old finishes and memories in tact, organically evolved. The entrance, for example, was never painted, but this was made into a ‘post card” with even a stamp and post mark of the historic times placed on the raw finish. Be sure to have a look as you enter.
The old floor was not replaced, but sealed and repaired with copper patches around the original wood burning stove.
Repurposing the depot into a saloon was the other half of the equation when restoring this historic building. An old western theme was adopted with two massive buffalo heads greeting you as you step back in time.
Lighting, back bar, restrooms, seating, a game of checkers, and a small museum in memory of the John Marquis family brings guest back in history with this magic railroad time machine.
Now the Third Rail Saloon stands complete with new life filling old spaces. It’s a living, breathing part of Bryan once again.
Special thanks to Scott Lirot (builder extraordinaire), Randy Bible (our historian and living history re-enactor), and Mike Kaufman (the perfectionist who refurbished and saved every old piece of this site).
Manager and Bar-B-Que specialist, John Wheeler, keeps the fires stoked every day, greeting and bringing smiles to all who push through the time warp of history.
“No individual can create this rebirth, but only a community of insightful, committed, like- minded friends. Thank you to all!.” Dr. John Trippy
The Bryan Development Foundation’s mission is to enrich the community by encouraging economic activity, preservation and community pride.
The BDF presents the Spotlight Award to a resident, business, industry, or institution that has invested in new construction, preservation, restoration or beautification efforts, in Bryan.
Spotlight Award recipients are recognized by the BDF with a plaque and through social media and local news outlets. Plaques are provided by Image Pro Group.
The community is encouraged to submit Spotlight Award Nominations at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information on the Bryan Development Foundation is available on the BDF Facebook page and website www.bryandevelopment.org.