Serving Mackinaw, Illinois since 2020

Mackinaw Mail

The Tea Room at the Depot

At the edge of Mackinaw sits an interesting piece of central Illinois history. Known as “The Tea Room” today, this old train station was once a stop on a trolley line that existed between Champaign and St. Louis. In 1978, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Despite this designation, The Depot sat empty for 40 years until an experienced business woman with a vision stepped in. Enter: Beth Wiegand.

Beth bought The Depot in early 1998 and faced the daunting task of rebuilding. Taking care of the floors, roof, and everything in between; Beth was open for business by October of 1998. Originally opened as a gift shop that is now known as “The Garden Center”, Beth would go on to add a charming restaurant called “The Tea Room”. Nowadays, The Tea Room is locally known for their seasonal menu that is served in “tiers”: literally tiered serving plates with dessert at the top, entree in the middle, and soup or salad on the bottom. Speaking from experience, no one will judge you should you decide to start with your top tier.

When asked how her business weathered Covid-19, Beth didn’t miss a beat. She credits the hard work and ingenuity of her 30+ employees for pulling through a tough year, as well as her patrons from Mackinaw and surrounding communities. Not one to dwell, Beth was quick to point out that they are back on track with their open houses and that we are only a few short weeks away from their Fall Open House. Beth was also excited about a visit from Week 25 for their “You Gotta Eat” segment last month. Check out Beth’s website, located at, for a link to that segment and be sure to make reservations. 

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Erik Malmgren

Erik Malmgren was the Mail Correspondent covering the Mackinaw, Deer Creek and Heritage Lake communities from August 2021 until July 2022.