Northfield's last railway station will have a new home in the new year.
The 1888 depot – which played a "crucial role" in Northfield's development – was going to be torn down unless it was moved. The railroad company agreed to sell the building to Save the Northfield Depot for $1, if the organization moved it off their property.
And now, after years of planning, fundraising and negotiating, the depot will be carefully moved across 3rd Street sometime this week, according to a news release by Save the Northfield Depot. The move is expected to happen sometime Wednesday, Alice Thomas with Save the Northfield Depot told BringMeTheNews. (For more information and updates on the move, visit Save the Northfield Depot on social media.)
Save the Northfield Depot has raised more than $200,000 to move the depot from its current location, but it is still raising money to renovate the building. (Click here for more information on how to donate.)
The hope is the depot will be used as a visitor/information center, and a 1917-style pavilion will be added, which can be used for community events, the organization's website shows.
“The completed complex will not only save this historic depot,” Rob Martin, co-chair of the group, said at the groundbreaking in October. “But also enhance a blighted lot and serve as a catalyst to economic development in the area.”
There used to be 4,000 of these depots in Minnesota, the Star Tribune says, and now about 400 remain. Of the ones that are still standing, about 60 of them are on the National Register of Historic Places, 115 are being used as museums, businesses or homes, while others are being used for storage or are "tucked away on farms," the paper says.
Click here for a look at some of the depots that have been successfully restored.