The Pacific and Idaho Northern sold their line to the Union Pacific Railroad in 1936. The Union Pacific kept the line running until 1979. The railroad served an important function as a “farm-to-market” railroad until 1940, thereafter its main importance was the timber and livestock industries.
In the late 1970’s the Union Pacific Railroad began talks of tearing the Depot down. Will Kerby,, who was at the helm of J.I. Morgan, Inc. was involved in the conversations and had another vision for the Historic Depot. The UPRR deeded the building to the Village of New Meadows, but only the building. The land underneath the building still belonged to the UPRR and eventually J.I. Morgan, Inc.
A Depot committee was formed to find other alternatives. The Depot Committee rallied together and formed the Adams County Historical Society (ACHS) in 1978. On April 19, 1978 the Depot was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Union Pacific Railroad then gifted the Depot to the Village of New Meadows, which in turn sold it to the ACHS for $1.00. Because of title and legal issues, it took seven years, before J. I. Morgan, Inc. could donate the land on which the Depot stands to the Adams County Historical Society. Until the ACHS was the owner of both the building and the land it could not apply for grants.