Local History and Architecture

The story of railroads can’t be told without the towns that were created, and thrived, along its tracks. Studying the industries and businesses around depots and tracks can give insight into railroad operations of yesteryear and today. Of particular interest is history and architecture within the communities in the Platte River Valley in Eastern Nebraska, and the the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metropolitan and surrounding area.

Carpenter’s Steakhouse gone sooner than expected

Carpenter’s was located at 14559 Forest Boulevard North in downtown Hugo, Minnesota bordering Egg Lake and across from where the Hugo Depot once stood. It consisted of two sections, a main section built in 1891, and a dance hall was added in 1902. Joseph Carpenter founded a general store in the Village of Hugo in […]

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Photosynth Part II: Why use and New Feature

Back in September I mentioned a photo stitching software called Photosynth. (Photosynth Part I, September 11, 2009). As a recap, Photosynth is very helpful when recreating a scene that you can “walk through.” However, it does take a little getting used to. Instead of going for the “money” shot, you end up canvasing an entire […]

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Old Crossing Signs

On a recent trip to Stillwater, Minnesota, I was taking the shortcut down McKusick and noticed, to my dismay, the new “Exempt” signs attached to the crossings of the Minnesota Zephyr. I had known that they had closed shop this year, but maybe I wished to ignore the truth. Well, this sign, no pun intended, […]

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Naming of the Skally Line

The other day I received an E-mail referencing a previous post about the Skally Line (St. Paul and Duluth Skally Line – April 15, 2009). The sender was asking how the line was named. Up until this week I had found info about that line to be scarce. However, this week, after his question intrigued me, […]

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The Effects of Progress

Disclaimer: In this posting I am not taking a stance as to whether or not demolition of older buildings that have historical, community, or emotional value is right or wrong to make room for the new. When ever certain buildings are demolished there is always a hole or a wrong felt by one side of […]

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Book: The Taylors Falls and Lake Superior Railroad

“Going up north” is a tradition that most Minnesotans hold dear.  Up north can pretty much be anywhere north of the Twin Cities where people go on the weekends to a cabin they own or rent on or near a lake. I’ve enjoyed going up north with my wife both to our honeymoon spot near […]

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St. Paul and Duluth Skally Line

Originally built by the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad to connect its namesake cities of St. Paul and Duluth, Minnesota, the Skally Line defined the St. Paul and Duluth Railroad as it was their only main track. The main line ran north and south through towns like St. Paul, present day Maplewood, White Bear Lake, Hugo, […]

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Westminster Junction

A companion and I were able to take some time to visit Westminster Junction in St. Paul, Minnesota. What is unique about Westminster Junction is that it is one of the only places (or maybe the only place) in Minnesota where train tunnels exist. They were put in to help aide in traffic management of […]

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