Video: Watch the historic Northfield rail depot get trucked to its new home


Northfield's last train depot made a move across the street.

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 on Wednesday morning, after years of planning, fundraising and negotiating, the depot was carefully moved across Third Street – and "not a brick fell off!" Alice Thomas, of Save the Northfield Depot, told BringMeTheNews.

"The Save Northfield Depot board has been meeting every Monday night for the last five years," Thomas told Northfield News.

Thomas called the event "uneventful" – but that's exactly how they wanted it to be, the paper says. But several people gathered for the move, and a tuba band serenaded the depot as it was trucked across the street:

Here's a time-lapse video of the event:

Now that the building is across the street, large beams will be placed underneath and the depot will be slid over the hole that was dug for the basement, Northfield News notes.

The hope is the depot will eventually be used as a visitor/information center, and a 1917-style pavilion will be added, which can be used for community events, the Save the Northfield Depot's website shows. The organization raised more than $200,000 to move the depot from its original location, and now it's hoping to raise more money for the renovation – click here for information on how to donate.

“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 said, 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.

Next Up