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10th Anniversary Party of in La Plata, MO

The 10th Anniversary of, December 9, 2006.

La Plata, Missouri

Amtrak Station, property, Depot Inn & Suites.

By Carl Morrison,

(Click any photo for a double-sized copy, click BACK in your browser to return to this page.)

Arrrival in La Plata, Missouri.

LaPlata is Spanish for "Silver" and was chosen because the prairie grasses blowing in the wind resemble a silver river.  We learned that locals pronounce it "La Plate' Ah."

The City's website says:
A name for the town which would please everyone was hard to find. The name " La Plata" was drawn from a hat in which anyone who wished could put the name they preferred. "La Plata" is a Spanish word meaning "City of Silver"

Our Southwest Chief pulled into La Plata about 10:30, carrying a bunch of us supporters and reporters.  The scene was beautiful, some snow on the ground on this early December morning, the sky as clear as a crystal, about 42 degrees.  Harold Marshall (tan coat, white hat below), father to Tom Marshall and his wife Kelly, who own the Depot Inn, was there to pick up Depot Inn and Suites guests.  Ray Burns of was there as well to get some of the folks who he knew from Southern California.  I piled in with Ray and we headed for the Depot Inn.  Ray showed me the land between the train station and the Depot Inn that had purchased, about 50 acres and a few houses, that will be the spot for the new Rail Resort

320/DSC00805.jpg 320/DSC00803.jpg


The locals raised the funds to remodel the station in 2001.
A familiar sight, Harold Marshall at every arrival of the East and Westbound Southwest Chief to deliver and collect passengers destined for the Depot Inn.  You don't have to have a car here, if you want to see the surrounding community, you can rent one at the Depot Inn!

The original depot, known as the Santa Fe Depot, was completed in January,
1888. Due to a fire, the depot had to be replaced in 1945. In 1996, the Friends For
La Plata Preservation, a non-profit corporation, and the NEMO Model Railroad
Club began the restoration of the building. The La Plata Depot is the only stop in
Missouri north of Kansas City and thought to be the only one of its kind on the
entire Amtrak line in America.

Other forms of local transportation arrive at the depot as well.

Soon we were at the Depot Inn and ready for our first look at this fabulous place!
Pat Moran arrived ready for the cool weather!
The Southwest Chief was soon off for Chicago.

Depot Inn & Suites

La Plata, Missouri

As we unloaded outside the hotel, we were already impressed with this less-than-year-old resort.  I had heard there was railroad memorabilia inside and out, that was a fact.



Palo Verdes Anton tries the seat out for size.
Brock ably handles the night duties.  He's been with the Depot Inn since it opened, and sings beautifully!

There's a pool table in the lobby (right)!

Tom Marshall was at the Inn to welcome us and showed us the lobby, hallway-Museum, and RR themed pool area.

Donna Hettinger, Manager
1245 North Brown Street
LaPlata, MO  63549

 I checked in, got my key to the Sportsman Suite and Ray Burns showed me where the suites were located.  I walked in and here's what I saw:

Large, comfortable bed, large TV above fireplace.  Even had my own Christmas Treee!
Jacuzzi tub with bathrobes and locat art on the wall and sportsman lights.
Desk with wireless and ethernet Internet, and nice office chair.  Crown molding, even in the bathroom!  Color coordinated perfectly.
A seasonal wreath above the desk with antlers in this fall arrangement, for the Sportsman.

View from my window with baggage cart outside.

Christmas tree (right) with sportsman type decorations - golf balls and shotgun shells!  Fireplace and large-screen TV.
Bass fish on the table lamp by the jacuzzi tub.

Bathroom area, outside toilet/shower, had ref., microwave, coffee maker, wall-mounted hand soap despenser, ample towels, and hair dryer.

Nice meeting room with projector for DVD, VHS, computer.

Local caterers can provide food and drinks for large and small groups (right).
Jonathan took the opportunity to present Ray Burns with some railroad pictures taken back home in California.
Depot Inn & Suites owners
Kelly and Tom Marshall, and Tom's dad, Harold.

Two local carpenters who helped build the Depot Inn and remodel's offices.
320/DSC00748.jpg's La Plata, MO, Office.  Taken from the train watching area across the BNSF double tracks, on the old Wabash RR line right-of-way, now property.
Further west down the BNSF tracks is the La Plata Amtrak Station on the right.
The Wabash RR used to cross the Santa Fe tracks near the TrainParty Building.  The bridge has been removed, but the abuttment is still there.  This picture taken from the TrainWeb property side of the raised right-of-way.

Ray Burns, Andy, and Anton on the TrainWeb property where a train viewing tower will be built with heat, air conditioning, and speakers for train frequencies. Right-of-way (right) from train viewing area back to the Depot Inn, which will be paved in the future and have a narrow-gauge train stop here.
View east of TrainWeb train-watching area, with street bridge and highway 63 bridge.

View from the bridge to the left, westward showing people on the TrainWeb train-watching spot, the other side of the fill on the left, and the La Plata Station far west on the right side of the tracks.

A scratch model of a passenger train is showcased on the west side of the lobby of the Depot Inn.  Beyond the model is the indoor pool.
A baggage cart in the "back yard" of the Depot Inn, where the Rail Resort will be built.  It was sunset and soon time for the big meal planned for all who had finally arrived from California.

The new Red Rooster, just a few steps south of the Depot Inn & Suites was the location for our meal.
Red Rooster Restaurant
Serving 6:00 AM - 9:00 PM 7 days
Within walking distance
(New in December 2005)

(L. to R.)   Mayor Larry Herron of LaPlata, Shivam, and Steve Grande, founder of

Mayor Larry Herron welcomed TrainWeb/ TrainParty and said the city would do all possible to make them welcome and successful.
Going around the table from the left;
Mayor's wife, Mayor, Ray Ivy (City Administrator), Konrad and Bonnie Kerr, Andy Smith, Anton Lazzaro, Ray Burns (Founder of


Harry and Jonathan (first on left)
Richard Hamilton and Tessie (first on right)

On right, Steve Grande, Harold Marshall...

Harold had said of Shivam, trying to drive on the snow for the first time in his life, "He looked like a pig on ice."
Left to right:  Steve Grande, Barbara Cepinko,  Irving Cepinko, Shirley Cepinko, Tom Marshall, Kelly Marshall (Owners of the Depot Inn and Suites)

Chris Parker (l.) and Ray Burns (r.)
Richard Elgenson


I couldn't help but notice, during the walk back to the hotel, past the bank, the temperature!

I knew that the fireplace in my Sportsman Suite would keep me warm, though!
The Principal folks in the Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony had an organizational meeting to set all plans.  (It all went like clockwork too!)

1. Sendoff Party | 2. Going to La Plata |  3. Arriving in LaPlata and the Depot Inn & Suites  |  4.   La Plata, Missouri | 5. Anniversary Party and Ribbon Cutting | 6. Returning to sunny Southern California  7. Links