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Pathways Through Our Past

On the right track

A while ago we were offered the opportunity to purchase the bones of a railroad for the History and Art Center.

It has long been a dream of members of the center to build a railroad room. Dean and Sonja Juelson have already researched the layout from Bemidji to International Falls and we want to show every depot, siding and trestle.

The railroad played such an important part to the growth to our part of northern Minnesota.

First to bring in much needed supplies for the growing townsites and transport men and their families to a place where they could find employment in the woods, mills or homestead logged over land for farming. The railroad moved a vast amount of timber and as the farms grew in size, it transported grains and produce to market.

Trains traveled to the larger cities allowing residents to leave Blackduck in the morning and arrive back that evening after a keeping an appointment with a doctor, dentist or going to school. It also brought in young men who were bound for one of many CCC camps in and around Blackduck.

We have heard some stories about the railroad in Blackduck. We know there was a train wreck but the article we have is very brief. We need stories and newspaper clippings, your memories of your first train ride or if you helped build part of this valuable link to the rest of our state. Anything you care to share so we can include it in the history along with the train display.

What we put together today will help show the young people a part of their past and that information will also be there to teach future generations. So dig deep and call or send in your stories or memories you wish to share. Call a member of the center or me. The number for the Center is 835-4478 or my number is 218-243-2474. My e-mail is