Then & Now: Old coal warehouse/transfer deopt

Marc Hultine works at his desk alongside artifacts found in
the old coal warehouse and railroad transfer depot where his
office now sits. A lump of coal, as well as order sheets and
catalogs from Byer's Lumber Company, remind Hultine of the
history of the property and the business legacy paved by the
building's former occupants.

Then: In the 1890s, the St. Joseph and Grand Island Railroad Company — a subsidiary of Union Pacific — built a railroad transfer depot near the intersection of Hastings Avenue and South Street, abutting the tracks. From there they unloaded, stored and distributed the fruits of the rails — lumber, hardwares and several varieties of coal brought in from across the region.

A long, thin coal warehouse closer to South Street was built around 1925 around the time the railroad sold the property to Byers Lumber of Hastings.

Now: The stripped wood walls of the long, thin coal warehouse look like they are leaning threateningly toward collapse. But although the structure has been jostled by lumber beams, coated in coal dust and riddled with capricious junk throughout its decades-long life, it is as sturdy and reliable as a railroad timetable.

"It's incredibly sound," said Marc Hultine, who now owns the warehouse and former transfer depot and runs several businesses from the properties. "It's a really well-built building. I just always say it needs the lipstick and rouge put back on it."

To read more, see Friday's Hastings Tribune or the Tribune e-edition.>>>

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