Chartered by the State of Texas on February 7, 1853, the Galveston, Houston, and Henderson Railroad was the first railroad to reach the Texas Coast. A trestle was built across Galveston Bay in 1859, and passenger and freight service was initiated between Galveston and Harrisburg. The line's earliest engines were two wood-burning locomotives named "Perseverance" and "Brazos." Known as the "Old Reliable Short Line", the Galveston, Houston, and Henderson Railroad was of military importance during the Civil War and played a vital role in the South's recapture of Galveston.
Two special trains, one for Sunday excursions and one for newspaper deliveries, were operating by 1877.
This depot, designed by Galveston architect George B. Stowe, was built in 1902 to replace the original 1850s structure which had burned in 1900. As Dickinson became a popular location for picnics and outings, special chartered trains brought passengers here on excursions. A nearby racetrack also attracted visitors.
Dickinson became a center for fruit and vegetable production in the early 1900s, and refrigerated rail cars regularly transported the goods to market.
The depot was moved here from the railroad right-of-way in 1967 and adapted for use as a museum.