Elgin's first railroad depot was built here about 1850. It was a wooden structure built for the Chicago & Galena Union Railroad. This railroad merged with the Chicago & North Western in 1864. In 1869 the wooden depot was replaced with a brick depot. Passenger service ended in 1950 and the depot was razed in 1971. Freight service continues. 

The Chicago & North Western Railroad had tracks running through the east side of Elgin as well as the west. The east-side tracks were at river level and became known as the "low North Western." The west-side tracks were halfway up the bluffs and became known as the "high North Western."

Sources: Mike Alft, Near West Neighbors Association; Audio: TextAloud