The Sedalia Katy Depot

Sedalia Missouri's  Visitor Center and Year-Round Historic Railroad Destination

First Fridays at the Katy Depot


  • April 6  Dr. Jeffrey Smith portrays George Catlin, 19th C. American West     painter        

  • May 4  Raymond Starzmann portrays Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • June 1 Smiley Wallace tells the story of Ragtime Great--Bob Darch

  • Aug 3  Dianne Moran portrays American outlaw, Calamity Jane

  • Sept 7  Dr. Larry Brown presents the town along the historic Katy RR

  • Oct 5   Kathleen Boswell portrays Laura Ingalls Wilder in "Yours Sincerely"

Reservations required by calling (660) 826-2932. Admission $5. 
Refreshments are at 5:30 p.m. and program begins at 6 p.m.

Robert W.S. Stevens Toy and Model Train Exhibit

The Sedalia Heritage Foundation is creating the W.S. Stevens Toy and Model Train exhibit that will become the center of a seasonal youth-based railroad-themed education center.  

SHF is partnering with the Division of State Parks to utilize the north half of the Sedalia MKT Express Building that formerly functioned as the Railway Express Agency office and freight room.  

Currently, an impressively large freight cart that was in a very dilapidated condition is being restored as part of the overall exhibit project.  It was a Missouri Pacific baggage cart that measures over 12 feet long. See some amazing before and after photos of the restoration project below.  All that is left now is to have it re-stenciled with the Mo-Pac livery.  

An elevated railroad track has also been installed in the REA building and soon train tables will be installed to the delight of children of all ages.  

The MoPac Caboose is also taking shape with new flooring installed, informational panels created, and kiddie size work tables being custom-made.

Thank you to MoPac Caboose and Robert W.S. Stevens Toy and Model Train Exhibit Donors and Grant Underwriters

Robert Stevens
State Fair Moving and Storage
W & M Welding
Steve Bloess
Kyle Herrick-Bryant Motors
James and Cathy Rose
Union Pacific  
Terri and Bill Fowler
Lawrence & Sarah Gentry
Matt Melville
Daniel Brigman
Missouri State Parks
David Curry
Barbara Hayden
Steve Dust
Meg Liston
NTR Metals
Steve & Donna Poort
Jeree Smith
Bob Walter
Larry Wilson
Rick Yeager--Yeager's Cycles
Jennie Jaynes Lewis Charitable Foundation
Dugan Paints
Sedalia Young Professionals 
Bill Wade
Swearingen Family
Teresa Walker
Perry SMith Family
Tom Robb Memorial Fund
Sedalia Area Tourism Commission

(Left) The Railway Express Building will house the W.S. Stevens Toy and Model Train Exhibit.

(Below) Interior.  Elevated train installation project.

MoPac freight cart in sad pre-restoration condition--fall, 2017

Cart--almost completely restored, winter, 2018.

 Announcing the Sedalia Ragtime
Heritage Archives Project

Scott Joplin created Classic Ragtime in Sedalia Missouri.

Joplin came to Sedalia to study music composition and while here made music history. Published in Sedalia, Joplin's Maple Leaf Rag is considered the first piece of American music and the most famous ragtime composition.

Sedalia Ragtime began the first era of American popular music and moved from the bars and bordellos to the parlors and opera houses of the early twentieth century.

Scott Joplin's genius earned the title as the King of Ragtime because his style was archetypal and established the structure other ragtime composers would then follow.
The Ragtime Archive will be a permanent memorial to Joplin's genius.

The Sedalia Ragtime Heritage Project

The Sedalia Heritage Foundation (SHF) was established in 1990 as a charitable tax-exempt organization with a mission to interpret the heritage of the area.
The Foundation is about to undertake a bold, comprehensive effort to preserve and interpret Sedalia's Ragtime Heritage by:
     Cataloging and conserving present holdings
     Creating a research library
     Developing permanent, rotating and traveling exhibits
     Promoting an ongoing acquisition of significant artifacts
     Restoring a player piano rescued from what is believed to be Sedalia?s last brothel
     Developing a year round visitor destination dedicated to celebrating Sedalia Ragtime

Amateur musicians and authorities from around the world inquire annually about Sedalia's musical heritage and visitors often make pilgrimages to the birthplace of ragtime music inquiring about the collection. It is of great importance on an international scale.
However, it is the historical significance of this unique collection in its entirety that gives it the highest value and emphasizes the critical importance of organizing, conserving, maintaining and displaying this material for future use.

It will be an important tourism attraction and educational springboard for local awareness and pride programs in and around Sedalia not to mention the Sedalia Ragtime Archive will promote racially integrated studies. The city's ragtime legacy links all the other historical elements that are part of Sedalia's heritage.

Because Scott Joplin came to Sedalia in the mid-1890s, and John Stark published Joplin's first great piano piece "The Maple Leaf Rag" here, Sedalia is known as the town where Classic Ragtime began.  It moved from the local bars and bordellos to parlors and opera houses around the world in the early twentieth century.

Many old world musical styles in the hands of talented musicians began to morph into distinct new forms by the 1890s.  The most important early synthesis resulted in Joplin?s melodic syncopated classic rags.

Scott Joplin's genius earned him the title "King of Ragtime" because his style was archetypal and established the structure later ragtime composers followed.

Joplin's prolific productivity further justifies his title.  He wrote 40 original ragtime pieces, a ballet, and two operas.  His piano pieces were issued in all available 19th century formats:  piano, vocal and instrumental sheet music piano rolls, Edison?s phonograph cylinders and gramophone discs.

Since his death, Joplin's rags have been used as silent film accompaniment, movie and TV soundtracks and background for radio and television ads.  In 1972 "Treemonisha" premiered in Atlanta and went on to play at Wolf Trap Farm and then 64 performances on Broadway.  In 1974 his music was used for two ballet productions, "Elite Syncopations" and "The Red Back Book."

Posthumously Joplin was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970, received a Hollywood Oscar for Hamlisch's The Sting score in 1973, a Pulitzer Prize for music in 1976, and commemoration on a U.S. Postage Stamp issued in 1983.  In 1973, the New York Public Library published Joplin's two-volume "Collected Works."  A motion picture was made of his life in 1977 and Max Morath's PBS television series "The Ragtime Era" recognized Joplin's significant contribution to American popular and classical music.

Significantly, Sedalia has recognized Joplin's achievement through a series of commemorative concerts and, since 1974 by holding an annual ragtime festival in his name.  Now the Ragtime Archive will be a permanent memorial to Joplin's genius.

Much of this sadly neglected archive is associated with the 1974-75 Ragtime Festivals and the annual festivals held in Sedalia since 1983. These musical celebrations, especially the first, have involved every musician associated with the genre in the modern era, and, as such, the collection from these extraordinary events are a unique record of American musical history.

The collection contains the public correspondence, photographs, financial records and recordings of the festivals as well as personal items associated with the historic ragtime composers and musicians (Scott Joplin, Scott Hayden, Arthur Marshall and Tom Ireland) who lived and performed in Sedalia around 1900.
Because Sedalia is considered the place where Classic Ragtime began, modern performers and researchers from around the globe look to Sedalia to have a well-maintained record of this important ongoing cultural phenomenon.

A few of the most significant items in the collection include:

    The only known copy of the original Maple Leaf Club business card referring to Scott Joplin as "The      Entertainer"
    Joplin's own copy of his opera Treemonisha donated by historian Rudy Blesh acquired from Joplin's       wife
    A copy of the original Maple Leaf Club incorporation papers
    The cornerstone from Joplin's college
    Tom Ireland's memorabilia and clarinet
    Perry Music Company plates of Joplin's "The Favorite"
    Nearly 2000 pieces of sheet music, plus piano rolls and records

The Foundation is seeking public support not only for the preservation of these materials and their public display but to gain access to additional items being sought for the collection. 

They are also interested in acquiring ragtime periodicals (original or reproduction), ragtime sheet music, piano rolls, recordings. photographs, books, and a tabletop Victrola.

In fact nearly anything with a ragtime connection will be welcomed and conserved in the collection and be available for public use and display.

Membership in the Cakewalkers will provide funding support necessary to ensure the ultimate success of preserving and interpreting this American heritage story.

Pledge your support of the Sedalia Ragtime Archives project!

$1,000  Cinema level members receive:
    Poster of Joplin Sheet Music Covers
    Sponsor name recognition on exhibit panel
    Autographed copy of Sedalia?s Ragtime Heritage
    10% discount on retail purchases at the Katy Depot Gift Store

 $500  Opera House level members receive:    
    Tremonisha CD
    sponsor name recognition on SRA webpages
    autographed copy of Sedalia?s Ragtime Heritage
    10% discount on retail purchases at the Katy Depot Gift Store

 $250  Parlor level members receive:
    Numbered and autographed limited edition sketch
    Autographed copy of Sedalia?s Ragtime Heritage
    10% discount on retail purchases at the Katy Depot Gift Store

  $125   Club level members receive:    
    Maple Leaf Club Reproduction Member Card & Replica Landmark Block
    Autographed copy of Sedalia?s Ragtime Heritage
    10% discount on retail purchases at the Katy Depot Gift Store

   $75   Concert Band level members receive:
    Autographed copy of Sedalia?s Ragtime Heritage
    10% discount on retail purchases at the Katy Depot Gift Store

Donate Ragtime artifacts
Extend in-kind products or services
Pass the word

The Sedalia Ragtime Heritage Project is sponsored by:
Sedalia Heritage Foundation
Ragtime Archive Project Committee:
Larry Melton - Project Coordinator
Deborah Biermann - SHF Project Liason/Connie Patterson -
 SHF Board Liason

Becky Imhauser - Pettis County History Advisor
Donal Buckner - Scott Joplin Foundation Liaison
Terri Ballard - Liberty Center Association for the Arts Liaison

The Katy Depot serves the public 

The Sedalia Katy Depot is managed by the Sedalia Heritage Foundation, a 501C3 not-for-profit entity dedicated to the preservation, maintenance, interpretation and operation of this historic site.  The Katy Depot serves the public in the following ways:

            Sedalia's Welcome Center provides:

  • Sedalia area phone books
  • Sedalia / Pettis County Maps     
  • Missouri State Maps
  • Brochures on attractions and events
  • Visitor packets
  • Newcomer packets
  • Starting a business referral guide
  • Year round visitor destination
  • Full service trailhead for the Katy Trail Mile Marker 227
  • Entry point to Sedalia's Heritage Trail
  •  Historic Landmark & Interpretive Center
  • Sedalia and the Railroad Exhibit Gallery
  •  Gift & Souvenir store
  •  Special exhibits and events
  •  Kids Club activities
  •  Event rental space for special celebrations and meetings
  • Visitor Services support for the Convention & Visitors Bureau  & receptionist support for Sedalia Area Chamber of Commerce 
  •  Receptionist support for Champion Bicycles Shop offering rentals, repairs, new and used bike sales
All proceeds generated from retail sales, exhibit admission, and user fees offset the annual operating budget.  Grants and donations fund special needs and are eligible as a charitable donation.

Board of Directors     

Kyle Herrick, Bryant Motors  - President                                  

Joe Fischer, PPS Group LTD - Vice President

Melody Chapman, Life Long Learning - Treasurer 

Connie Patterson, Environmental and Energy Resource Authority - Secretary

Dan Pilliard, Member at Large

Gary Farr, Member at Large 

Deb Biermann, Executive Director

Jill White, Site Manager 

Special Advisors        Chris Cruz, Katy Railroad Historical Society

                                  Larry Melton, Sedalia Ragtime Archives

Bob Walters, Historic Site 

Visitor Services Staff

            Kathleen Boswell - special events, group tours, media relations

            Terri Fowler - Kids Club activities, feature exhibit, database

       Linda Davis - special events

DSP Partner Liaisons:            

Vicki Hutson, Daniel Brigman, Darrin Brown


Welcome Center Partners:       Sedalia Convention & Visitors Bureau

                                                    Sedalia Chamber of Commerce

                                                    Champion Bicycles

Friends of the Katy Depot include:

Exhibits:  Missouri Humanities Council; John Meehan; Dr Doug Kiburz; Madge Gressley, Art & Graphics;

Historic Landmark:  Jennie Jaynes Lewis Charitable Trust; Andrew Treuner, Treuner Masonry;

First Friday: Joe Fischer, PPS Group; Missouri Humanities Council; Dale Yelton, Comfort Inn; Mark Hewett, Sedalia Parks Department; Turf Martin, Wine & More; Greg Boswell; Bill Fowler; Maurene Talley; Betty Jo Shafer; Anna Lee Bail;

Kids Club / Polar Express:  Terri & Bill Fowler; Ken Bird; Kathleen Boswell; Betty Jo Shafer

Caboosters support interpretation of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, the Sedalia MOPAC Shops, with a special emphasis on maintaining MoPac Caboose 12099. Kyle Herrick, Bryant Motors; Steve Loftus, NTS Metals; Chuck Kempton, Dugan Paints; Robert Stevens; Barbara Hayden,  Starline; Steve and Donna Poort; Matt Melville, Melville Properties; Bob Walters; Meg Liston; Daniel Brigman; Steve Dust; Jeree Smith; David Curry; Larry Wilson; Townsquare Media; Carolyn Crooker, Sedalia Convention & Visitors Bureau; Union Pacific Railroad Foundation.

Syncopaters support acquisition and restoration of the Sedalia Ragtime Archives and interpretation of Sedalia?s Ragtime Heritage.  Larry Melton; Terri Ballard, Liberty Center Association for the Arts; Tabitha Lazenby, Scott Joplin Ragtime Foundation; Becky Imhauser, Pettis County Historical Society. 


Exhibit Sponsors