By Starrla Cray
DELANO, MN Delano is one of many cities highlighted in a new book, “Minnesota Railroads: A Photographic History, 1940-2012.”
The author, Steve Glischinski, covers how Delano was on the original main line of the Great Northern Railroad between Minneapolis and Willmar, along with an aerial black-and-white photo of a Great Northern train in 1967.
“[The book] offers a colorful history of Minnesota railroads from near the end of the romantic era of steam locomotives and luxury passenger lines to the reemergence of railroads as one of the few profitable transportation industries, carrying more traffic than ever before,” noted Heather Skinner, publicist for the University of Minnesota Press.
The railroad had a major influence on the formation of many Minnesota communities, including Delano.
According to the Delano Area Chamber of Commerce, the city was originally called “Crow River,” but was renamed “Delano” after Frances R. Delano, the superintendent of the railroad.
Back in 1868, steel rails had already been constructed west from Minneapolis to the present site of Delano, the 1976 Delano bicentennial book noted. By 1876, when the village was incorporated, the railroad had brought many German and Polish settlers to the area.
The rail service not only brought railroad workers, but also created opportunities for farmers and businessmen. The Great Northern Hotel began in December 1868, and by 1879, had expanded to include 40 rooms.
“Minnesota Railroads” includes the history of many railroads throughout the state, as well as information about their present-day value.
“It features many full-color, never published before photos,” Skinner noted. “There are photos from every region of the state showing cities large and small, the topography, and how the railroad was an integral part of everyday life.”
Glischinski, a resident of Shoreview, has written several books on railroading. He began taking photographs of railroads at age 13, and his work has been published in many books and magazines.
To learn more about the book, or to purchase, call (612) 627-1932 or go to the University of Minnesota Press website.