The Old Depot Railroad Museum in Dassel now has a new display
By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN - For train enthusiasts, the Old Depot Railroad Museum in Dassel must be somewhat of a paradise.
With already hundreds of thousands of train-related items to look at, the museum is growing with the recent addition of 316 photographs and paintings displayed in a freight car.
“I didn’t realize we had so many,” Page said of the number of pictures he now has on display.
Behind what is the original Depot Museum are two freight cars. One has train equipment displayed, while the other had been sitting empty.
“We didn’t know what to use it for. Then, we got this idea,” Page said.
The pictures framed and on display are of various subjects related to trains.
In the exhibit, Page tried to group the pictures together by subject.
For example, on one side of the freight car are pictures of different railroad jobs.
One of Page’s favorite pictures in the collection is one of a brake man on the roof of a freight car during dangerous weather conditions in the wintertime.
Also in the collection is a photograph of James J. Hill, the originator of the Great Northern Railroad, which began in St. Paul.
This was the most northern railroad company at the time, Page explained.
The company is now known as the Burlington Northern Santa Fe.
Another part of the collection, are pictures and painting, of English trains Page found during a past trip to England.
The collection also features train depots, including the former depot in Litchfield and a depot near Minnehaha Falls. Page suspects the people in the picture may be Norwegian or Swedish immigrants.
Other items on display in the freight car are stock and bond certificates, US Postal Service stamps with the enlarged picture, and commercial items, as well.
Page explained one of the pictures on display is a comical advertisement for Jell-o.
The picture shows a man running to the case of the Jell-o that happened to be on the railroad tracks, before the case is destroyed by an oncoming train.
This particular advertisement was printed in the October 1923 Ladies Home Journal magazine.
When to visit the depot
The Old Depot Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. beginning Memorial Day weekend through Oct. 1.
The cost is $2.50 for adults and $1 for children 12 and under.
The museum is located at 651 West Highway 12 in Dassel.
For more information, contact the museum at (320) 275-3629.