In 1990 the Depot Building and the Freight House Building were given to the State of Nevada for the establishment of a railroad museum in eastern Nevada. As the newest of seven state museums, the East Ely Railroad Depot Museum shares the mission of other institutions. Staff are dedicated to the collection, preservation, study, and interpretation of the vast and rich heritage of the State of Nevada.

The East Ely Railroad Depot Museum focuses on the historical industrial development of Nevada as evidenced by the massive copper production in the area which began in 1900. Located in the historic East Ely Railroad Depot, the museum interprets mining and transportation heritage.