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Clearbrook Centennial:Town developed museum to kick off celebration

Clearwater Quilters Guild members Judy Engebretson, Linda Holm, seated, and Laura Bagaason in front of the 1910 Clearbrook Depot, which opened to celebrate the town's centennial celebration beginning June 24. Submitted Photo

CLEARBROOK -- The Clearbrook Soo Line Depot Quilt and Antique Show opened for Clearbrook's Centennial.

Clearbrook celebrated its Centennial during the long weekend of June 24-27 with four days filled with activities. Special events included the Tina and Lena Family Show, elk farm tours, bean feed and potato klub luncheon, variety show, centennial and alumni banquet, breakfast on the Rydeen Farm, live music each night, children's games, and a two-hour Sunday parade.

The Clearbrook Soo Line Depot was open and gave alumni and the community an opportunity to see local antiques and many beautiful quilts.

Clearwater Quilters Guild members Judy Engebretson, Linda Holm, Laura Bagaason and other volunteers spent the last two weeks cleaning, painting, organizing and displaying quilts and antiques for the Depot opening. All their work paid off as hundreds of alumni and community members visited the depot during the weekend. Many commented about how much it meant to be able to see the old photos and antiques of their ancestors and families they knew. Many recalled riding the passenger train to Bemidji and other local towns.

One depot visitor was Randy Berger of Mahnomen, whose father was the Depot Agent in the 1960s. His family of seven lived in the small, two-bedroom apartment upstairs. He recalled his first job of sweeping cabooses for 25 cents.

The Clearwater Quilters Guild gathered more than 30 antique and recently made quilts from their members for the show. One quilt was almost 100 years old. Clearwater County has an active guild with 25-30 members and holds annual quilt retreats and shows.

The Clearbrook Soo Line Depot opened Aug. 9, 1910, and continued passenger service until 1959. The train continued to run, hauling pulpwood, oil and other products until the early 1970s. The depot is in need of many repairs, including a new roof. Members of the Clearwater Quilters Guild and the community are interested in raising funds to begin restoring the depot so it can be used as a museum and for other functions on a regular basis. The depot is owned by the city.

For more information about this effort or the Clearwater Quilters Guild contact Judy Engebretson at eng@gvtelcom.

Roz Johnson is a members of the Clearbrook High School Class of 1968 and spends summers at Pine Island in Clearwater Lak.