602 West University
beautiful and haunted 1928 Southern Pacific Railroad Station,
now the Edinburg Visitor Information Center, is one of the best buildings
in Edinburg. You heard right, we
This is one of the four SP stations in the Valley built in Spanish
Colonial Revival style in the late 1920s. The others were McAllen
(now a law office), Brownsville
(the Historic Museum on Elizabeth St.), and Harlingen
Showcasing (literally) the inter-agency cooperation that makes Edinburg
work, a railroad memorabilia exhibit is on semi-permanent loan
from the Hidalgo County Historical Society whose offices and
Museum are just down the street "on the square". This exhibit by the
museum curator, includes among other things a "Golden Spike" (figurative
and plated) driven when the SP reached Edinburg.
But it seems one local youth took the "Golden Spike" description literally,
because he stole it and sawed it in half. Not only was he disappointed,
he was caught with the spike after it was sawn, which explains its
present condition. Before you call him stupid, let us say; he at least
didn't saw it length-wise. You can rest assured that when he graduated
to felonies and entered the Big House in Huntsville,
his nickname was "Spike."
Southern Pacific Station
Photo courtesy Edinburg Chamber of Commerce
Why do you think it's called a "Terminal"
Aida R., President of the Chamber, who magnanimously allows her name
to be mispronounced by nearly everyone, told us of a few of the strange
occurrences at the Chamber. Aida R. is involved in the haunting in
a way, since it is her music box (touch-activated) that has been known
to go off when it hasn't been touched.
This is a tactile spirit and could very well be a lost conductor punching
passenger's one-way tickets on a phantom hell-bound train. It could
also be a defective music box. But before you dismiss this music box,
there's more! There are sightings! People walking quickly (and quietly)
past the reception desk. A black man in what was the segregated side
of the depot. Voices! Indistinct and muffled, and sometimes clear
and interrogative. And then there was the note!
Now in police hands, it demanded help in finding the spirit's body.
The spirit claims to have been killed by two black-hearted coworkers
who killed him after he overheard their plans to hijack a train. We
personally doubt the letter's authenticity, since hijacking a train
had a well-known high rate of failure. The note also mentioned a deadline,
which is definitely not ghostlike since spooks are extremely patient
(eternity and all that).
Our special thanks to Aida, who is now President of the Chamber. An
exceptional effort was made to provide us with the image of the station
that opens this page. Aida and Marco Bazan were given a TE award for
efficiency in our 1999 Awards, and they remain the most cooperative
Chamber Staff we've worked with to date.- October 2000
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