A Brief History
In 1917 Fomento de Chapala, a company headed by Norwegian Paul Christian Schjetnan, began the construction of the railway station in Chapala.
Schjetnan and his company saw the value of creating railway transportation between Chapala and Guadalajara to serve the combination of tourists, both foreign and Mexican, fisheries in Mexico’s largest lake, and food producers on some of the most fertile farm land in the region.
In 1920 the railway station was completed and inaugurated in 1920 at a great event for the town of Chapala. In 1925 Chapala suffered a tremendous flood. The flood was the primary cause of the bankruptcy of Fomento de Chapala and the abandonment of the building.
It wasn’t until 73 years later, in 1998, that restoration of the building began with the support of a new association, ‘Adopt a Work of Art’ and on March 26, 2006 the station’s second inauguration occurred bringing the original train station back to life as a Cultural Center for the enjoyment of the town of Chapala and it’s visitors.
Currently, the 720 square meters J. Jesús González Gallo Cultural Center hosts an average of 1,000 to 1,500 people each month at its concerts, workshops, education programs and local history museum.