The Milwaukee Road Heritage Center has been awarded a grant of $9,790 from the Minnesota Historical Society.
Founded in 1992 as the Minn-Kota Railroad Historical Society, the organization was formed by a group of Montevideo railroad and history enthusiasts and community leaders bent on preserving the history of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad — AKA the Milwaukee Road.
The railroad played a major role in the development of Montevideo, beginning in the late 19th century.
The Milwaukee Railroad Heritage Center has an extensive and varied collection of railroad equipment and archival material in Montevideo. It is one of Minnesota’s largest museums focusing on transportation.
The museum’s assets include the former Milwaukee Road Depot, which houses some interpretive exhibits as well as a collection of photographs and documents related to the railroad.
The railroad park is owned by the city of Montevideo. Its centerpiece is a 90-foot-long turntable, built in 1913 and used by the railroad to move steam locomotives into the 26-stall roundhouse. The turntable has been restored to operating condition. In 2006, work began to repair the concrete foundation of the roundhouse, with the goal of eventually erecting a new building in which railroad cars and locomotives could be stored.
The grant will fund a long-range planning process with a goal of developing a master plan for the site.
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“Demand for Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage grants remains high as we kick off a new biennium,” said David Grabitske, manager of outreach services for the Minnesota Historical Society. “The grants help give history-minded organizations the support they need to carry out valuable projects that will benefit Minnesotans now and well into the future.”.