The depot from Sanger (Denton County, Texas) was moved to Tioga (Grayson County) and now has a second life as an antique store.
Drove to Tioga (Grayson County, TX) yesterday and visited several places in Gene Autry’s home town: Clark’s Outpost (re-opened after a bad fire – best BBQ in North Texas), the Tioga calaboose, and the Sanger (Denton County, TX) depot!
Sanger’s Santa Fe depot is now the Cedar Depot, home to antiques, architectural salvage items, and a wood shop.
Whenever I visit old depots, I zero in on their graffiti. Passengers and workers idled their time away by either burning or writing their initials, dates, and artwork into the boards. Sanger’s depot has some fine examples, though you have to look past the wares to see it.
The owner, Andy, showed me around. One item he found of most interest was a tree stump from Pilot Point, with a farm implement grown into the wood. Andy told me that in New York, where he’s from, placing farm implements in trees became a tradition for young men drafted into war. When they came back, they took the implement out. If they didn’t come back, the farm implement stayed… he wondered if this was also a Texas tradition. I’d never heard of the practice around these parts, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.
A cell complex from the old, demolished Denton County jail, which was state-of-the-art in the 1920s, is for sale at the depot. These are the same cells that I discovered at an estate sale earlier this year. I think the jail cells would make a great addition to the historic park in Denton.
If you look inside the freight section of old depots (which aren’t wallpapered but simple boards), you’ll often find graffiti, like this inscription from 1922.
A farm implement inside a cedar log may indicate that the person who placed it there never came back from war. At least, that was the tradition in New York state; unsure if that was a tradition in Texas. This log was inside the Cedar Depot (nee Sanger Depot) in Tioga, (Grayson County, TX). The log came from Pilot Point (Denton County, TX).
The cells from the old Denton County Jail (1891), which I once found at an estate sale, are for sale at the Depot (at least as of this writing, April 2020).
Another jail – Tioga’s old calaboose – sits in a park in Tioga.