People arriving in Saint Paul between 1900 and 1940 generally came by train through the Union Depot. In its heyday, this neoclassical structure served 282 trains and 20,000 passengers daily. The depot is significant both as a point of entry for African Americans and as an opportunity for job-seekers. Although most black workers were confined to menial roles, the industry did provide educated African Americans with a more respected occupation as Pullman porters. Regardless of job status, black station employees were important ambassadors. They were often the first friendly face for a new arrival, and their networks of information about where to find shelter and a good meal were invaluable.