Built in 1896, the depot was the first one built in Wright County. It operated as a working depot until 1980. Passengers rode the trains to nearby towns, and many commercial products such as poultry, farm products, and coal were shipped by rail. The Dows Historical Society raised enough money to purchase and restore the depot in 1988, and today it is known as The Dows Depot Welcome Center. It has been placed on the National Register of Historical Places.
The depot is furnished with railroad memorabilia as well as local historical items. Over 20,000 visitors have registered here each year. There is a section within the Center where hand made items, Iowa souvenirs and gifts are sold. A telephone, free restrooms, and information about other Iowa attractions are in the Center for travelers’ convenience.
The Welcome Center is open from 9-5 Monday through Saturday and 12-5 Sundays but closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day and Easter.