The Darien Center Depot at 1385 Erie St., Darien Center, was one of the destinations favored by Buffalonians a century ago when they wanted to spend a day in the country. Arriving by excursion trains, they walked to Taylor Park, Longwood Park or the picnic area along Murder Creek, then returned to the depot in time to catch the 5 p.m train home.
Built in 1842, with broad, sheltering eaves and vertical exterior planks, the depot served four railroads over the years, primarily the Erie Railroad. The rise of automobile travel put an end to passenger runs, however, and freight service was discontinued in 1959.
For many years, the depot was used as a storage shed for the now-closed Rapp's Feed Mill across the street. Railroad buff Paul Kulnisewski of Williamsville, a Metro Rail fare inspector, bought the building in 1993. With help and contributions from family, friends and local residents, he has been working ever since to refurbish the station.
Kulnisewski hopes to turn the building into a rail museum and attract tourists heading down Route 77 to nearby Darien Lake Theme Park.
In addition to railroad memorabilia, Kulnisewski has purchased a caboose from the Genesee & Wyoming Railroad and has been given an old wooden boxcar.