The evolution of the wooden station wagon had its beginning directly linked to the early railroad depot hacks. As the railroad spread across the United States in the early 1900s, hotels and resorts soon found the need to provide transportation for their customers. The Model T Ford Depot Hack was created to carry passengers and their luggage to and from the railway depot.

The bodies were made of wood, usually ash, maple or oak, and the popular choice for panels and trim was cherry, birch, basswood and/or mahogany. The Hack was based on a passenger-car and light truck chassis, and had the modified back end that was necessary to carry large amounts of luggage.

The original Depot Hacks were horse-drawn wagons with seating to carry the passengers and canvas covering to protect them from the weather. The wagons were replaced with automobiles. This body design was often referred to as an Express Wagon, Wagonette, Depot Wagon or Depot Hack, and the body with opposed seating was dubbed a “Jitney”.

This is how the term “station wagon” came into being. Yes, it is the wagon whose purpose is to go to the station. It is also the reason that many modern automobiles of this design had wood decals applied to the sides; a direct reference to the wagon of days of old.

The first Hacks, in the early 1900s had limited horsepower and could only carry a small amount of weight – sometimes the horse-drawn carriage would also be used. To keep the weight down, the design was simple lacking features that provided comfort. As automobile production progressed, so did the capabilities of the Hack – features were added that focused on safety and comfort..

During the late 1800s and 1900s, the Boothbay Region had several large wooden hotels – to name a few, the Menawarmet , Samoset, Oak Grove, and the original Newagen Inn. The Region was a vacation destination for many, staying several weeks. There was no parking for vehicles on the premises so guests arrived by boat, chauffeur-driven cars or a Depot Hack, most with steamer trunks and valises carrying their belongings for an extensive stay.