Bunkie, La., Awarded Membership in Union Pacific’s Train Town USA Registry

Published on : Monday, February 18, 2013

Union PacifcBunkie, La., has been awarded membership in Union Pacific’s Train Town USA Registry as part of Union Pacific’s ongoing efforts to highlight cities with a historical connection to the railroad. The city received an official Train Town USA resolution signed by Union Pacific Chairman Jim Young in a special presentation to Mayor Michael Robertson at the Bunkie depot. Union Pacific launched its Train Town USA Registry as part of the railroad’s 150th anniversary celebration in 2012.

“We are proud to recognize Bunkie as we celebrate our growing up together,” said Drew Tessier, Union Pacific director – Public Affairs “Union Pacific was founded to help connect the nation from east to west. Our shared heritage with Bunkie is a source of pride as we remember our past while delivering the goods American businesses and families use every day.”

In 1882, the Texas and Pacific Railway secured permission to build the railroad on property that belonged to Capt. Samuel Haas, who was active in the Civil War and the largest landowner in Avoyelles Parish. Haas was given the privilege of naming the train station, which was a critical connection to New Orleans and Shreveport. Legend has it that Haas gave his daughter a toy monkey, which she mispronounced “Bunkie.” From then on, Haas called his daughter his little Bunkie, and the affectionate nickname also was given to the depot and the town.

Bunkie was situated in the heart of some of the best farmland in the south and some of the first products shipped by rail included cane, cotton and corn. The depot in Bunkie was built in 1911 and thrived until passenger service was discontinued in 1968. The depot was closed for many years, even though many goods still traveled by rail through Bunkie. The depot was remodeled in 2001 by the City of Bunkie, Bunkie Chamber of Commerce and Union Pacific Railroad, and recently celebrated its 100th birthday. It is currently the home of the Bunkie Chamber of Commerce and a small railroad museum.

 

source: Union Pacific Railroad

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