Save the Northfield Depot Launches New Website

Save the Northfield Depot

Save the Northfield Depot, a group dedicated to preserving and reusing Northfield’s historic Milwaukee Road train depot (built in 1888), has just launched its redesigned website.  The website design work was generously donated by Neuger Communications of Northfield.  The website features photographs and detailed information about the nearly 125-year history of the depot, as well as details about plans for the depot’s relocation and reuse.  The depot is currently in dilapidated condition, and faces demolition by its owner, Canadian Pacific Railroad, unless efforts to relocate and reuse the building are successful. 

This evening (Tuesday, April 19, 7:00 p.m.), the Northfield City Council takes up a proposal to relocate the depot to the “Q Block,” where it could serve as a transit hub and visitor center, and anchor redevelopment of the Q Block.

During the depot’s history, it has seen campaign stops by Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Dwight Eisenhower.  It has brought thousands of students and visitors to Northfield, and brought thousands of residents back home.  For more than half a century, the railroads brought the mail to Northfield, and sent cattlecars full of Northfield’s famous dairy cows to the ranches of the west.  Northfield’s location at the nexus of several rail lines, and its fine depot, were important factors in the decisions to locate both Carleton and St. Olaf College here.  For more than half a century, Northfield’s passenger rail lines, including the Northfield, Minneapolis & Southern (“Dan Patch”), were the city’s major link to the outside world and the key to its growing prosperity. 

You can find out more about Northfield’s railroad history at the Northfield Historical Society, which is hosting a special exhibit on The History of Northfield’s Railways through Sunday, May 8.

You can also contribute to the effort to save the Northfield depot through GiveMN.

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A Blogger Endorsement

Northfield writer and Minnesota Parent columnist Joy Riggs has a plug for the depot, with some other relevant links, on her My Musical Family blog, here.  Thanks, Joy!