The Halstead Heritage Museum is divided into two main galleries – formerly the depot waiting rooms. The east room holds The Charles Basore Gallery which contains permanent exhibits that give a brief overview of Halstead history. A life-long resident of the area, Mr. Basore was a collector and historian who shared his enthusiasm and love for local history through collections in his personal museum near Bently.
The west room contains The Lehman-Dreese Gallery which is designed to house rotating exhibits. This gallery was named in recognition of the faithful and generous support given to the Halstead Historical Society by Gladys Dreese. A large percentage of the Society’s artifacts came from Miss Dreese’s personal collection of family memorabilia.
The HALSTEAD RAILWAY STATION was completed in 1917 at an approximate cost of $25,000. It was the fourth depot building to serve the city. The Halstead Independent noted at the time that “the Santa Fe has provided Halstead with the most modern station that can be built. . . with steam heating, electric lights, toilets, sewer facilities. . . it is a station capable of meeting the needs of a town 10 times our size.”
The Halstead Depot ceased rail operations in the early 1970’s. In 1988 the Santa Fe Railway sold the building for demolition.
After almost four years of negotiations, the Historical Society purchased the building from Santa Fe in March of 1992 for $5,000. Over the next three years, society members contributed many hours of labor and solicited thousands of dollars in donations. Nearly $50,000 was spent to restore the Depot and develop a Historical Museum. The Halstead Heritage Museum and Depot was re-dedicated with opening ceremonies on March 18, 1995.