The Stanford Depot has been a source of heartbreak and joy for the families of Lincoln County since May 17, 1866. The arrival of passenger service meant that loved ones departed, sometimes never to return. The first Louisville & Nashville depot, built in 1865, was located across the tracks from the present one. Initially used exclusively for freight, passenger service began when the tracks were extended to Stanford the following year. it was razed in the early 1960s.
A second depot was built around 1881 where the present structure stands. It was razed in 1911 to be replaced by the present structure, which was completed in 1912 for the sum of $12,693. The new depot was described as the finest on the L&N line between Louisville and Knoxville. President Theodore Roosevelt passed through on the L&N in 1912 but the most famous visitor to Stanford's depot was then- Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt, on October 22, 1932, during his presidential campaign.
Passenger traffic declined in the mid-twentieth century. The last passenger train stopped at Stanford on July 31, 1958. The last freight train passed on July 8, 1987. The depot building was not used by the railroad after 1986 and ownership passed to the City of Stanford. Through a succession of grants, gifts and matching funds, a $400,000 program to restore the depot as a community
center began in 1996, culminating in a dedication September 3, 1998.