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Life’s Better Here in DeKalb County

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) - DeKalb county is rich in transportation history--from trains to cars. While the Auburn Cord Dusenburg Automobile Museum is probably the most well-known attraction, there's a spot in Waterloo that holds plenty of history and still sees plenty of use today.

The Waterloo Train Depot was built back in 1883 and has quite the storied past.

In the 1940s, one man accused of being a spy was travelling on a train through Waterloo. While there, he got off the train and laid his head on the tracks. Today, graphic photos, covered up for more sensitive viewers, and a display inside the depot remember the event.

After Amtrak passenger service to Waterloo ended in 1971, the building was scheduled to be demolished. That's when the town and the people here stepped in and saved the historic building. Nearly two decades later, Amtrak service returned to Waterloo. The old train depot was restored and put back into service in 2016.

Now, the train station sees around 22,000 riders a year (or at least did before the pandemic). Trains go from Washington D.C. to Chicago, New York to Chicago, and back again. That's brought people from all over the world through Waterloo.

But the Waterloo Train Depot is more than a place to wait for a train or grab some refreshments. The depot takes time to remember its past, keeping different mementos on display.

In a county known for being on the go, you can stop by The Grind Coffee House of Garrett to get the caffeine boost you may need.

The coffee shop has unique drinks like energy mimosas, boba sodas, and coffee flights. Those coffee flights went viral, leading some fans to travel long distances to Garrett just to get them.

Still, Kayla Diederich, owner of The Grind Coffee House of Garrett, says the local community's support is most important.

So whether it's the personal touch when grabbing a cup of Joe on your morning commute or travelling cross-country by train, DeKalb county's historical and current focus on transportation play a role in making life even better.

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Gabe Prough

Gabe Prough is the Weekend Evening Meteorologist for ABC21. A northeast Indiana native, he joined the StormTrack weather team in December 2019.

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