T.J. Scott of Monticello decided to give a little bit of a history lesson when he constructed his Eagle Scout project in town. The senior at Monticello High School decided to put up a tribute to the old "Dighton" train stop.
The project, which includes a replica of the depot sign, a plaque, and a tie wall behind the originally passenger platform, is located at the end of the bike trail and close to Valentine Park in Monticello.
The Illinois Railroad Terminal's electric interurban trains at one time made stops at Dighton, picking up passengers who wanted to visit other area cities. Patrons could transfer to other trains at Champaign, Monticello, Bement, Decatur, Danville, Springfield and St. Louis for shopping trips and travel.
Scott, a member of the Monticello Railway Museum said his father helped him come up with the idea for his Eagle Scout project.
"My dad suggested it to me, and I've been a member of the railway museum for a while, so it made sense," added Scott. The project was completed on Aug. 5.
The Dighton station was built in 1910. Typical of early Illinois Terminal practices, the flag stop was named for the family who originally owned the right-of-way, in this case the Dighton family of Monticello. Most of Illinois Terminal's flag stop stations were just stops at public roads or farm crossings, but Scott says the Dighton station had a concrete passenger platform and a small wooden shelter where travelers could wait for the train.
By the early 1930's the shelter was in need of repair. Based on the small number of passengers boarding at Dighton, the railroad decided rebuilding the shelter was not economically feasible, and tore down the structure.
The concrete platform remained but was forgotten after the interurban trains stopped running in 1954.
"The Boy Scouts and I cleared off the concrete platform of brush and patched up a hole in the concrete," commented Scott. "Also, we constructed a tie wall behind the platform, put up a sign which says 'Dighton,' and placed a plaque on the sign detailing a brief history of the location.
"The project is a tribute to the history of the location and to the Dighton family."
Scott was helped by his father, Thomas E. Scott Jr., Matt Crawford, Mark Mesplay, Guy Bretz; and fellow Boy Scouts Ryan Rodgers, Owen Myers and Zach Mesplay.