Tag Archives: Minnehaha Park

The old Milwaukee Road in Minnehaha Park

Looking north up former Milwaukee Road by Longfellow House Minnehaha Park 3 31 2013
Here we are looking north up the old Milwaukee Road from down by the pedestrian crossing leading into the Longfellow House replica. Minnehaha Parkway is in the distance. Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-31-2013.
Ex Milwaukee track in Minnehaha Park on north side of creek crossing 3 31 2013
Now we are looking south from the Longfellow House pedestrian crossing towards the bridge carrying the rusting rails across Minnehaha Creek. Note how well-preserved the track ties are here. A miracle given the total lack of maintenance the line has got in recent decades. Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-31-2013.
MILW Minnehaha Creek bridge east side 4 8 2013
The old Milwaukee Road bridge over Minnehaha Creek as seen from the Minnehaha Avenue bridge. I loved to always look at this train bridge from the passenger window of our old Chevy when my family would take me to the park as a kid. It always told me the Princess Depot was not too far away! Photo taken by Tony Held on 4-8-2013.
MILW Minnehaha Creek bridge west side 4 8 2013
The old Milwaukee Road Minnehaha Creek stone arch bridge as viewed from the other side. The bridge now has attracted so many local “artists” the bridge is now a worthy heir to the long-gone Graffiti Bridge. May it not ever meet a similar fate. Photo taken by Tony Held on 4-8-2013.
Ex Milwaukee track on south side of Minnehaha Creek crossing 3 31 2013
We are now on the south side of the Minnehaha Creek span looking north. Note the dense year-round overgrowth that has sprung up along the tracks here. To think this line once hosted not only a special visit by the Hiawatha in the 1930s but also the American Freedom Train in the 1970s!  Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-31-2013.
Ex Milwaukee rails in Minnehaha Park looking towards Princess depot 3 31 2013
We are now looking south from the same vantage point. The end of the line is in view down by the Princess Depot. I miss the old team track that used to exist south of the depot. I always loved to play with the north switch there as a kid and proudly posed by it for photos the first day I worked the depot as a station agent back in 1998. Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-31-2013.
Minnehaha Depot looking north 3 31 2013
Behold the Princess Depot! Here we are looking at it from the southwest side. The metal box protects the lamp for the depot’s train order signal; the shutters protect the windows when the depot is not open. Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-31-2013.
Minnehaha Depot looking south 3 31 2013
Ah the Princess! Here we are looking southeast towards the historic station. Sure wish they did not have to move over Highway 55 and spoil some of the ambience the place had when I was a kid and later a teenage station agent. Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-31-2013.
Minnehaha Depot plaque 3 31 2013
The plaque Princess Depot owner Minnesota Historical Society put up by the north portico on the depot’s east side. I loved reading this when I was a kid. Such wonders of the rail world it spoke of to me! Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-31-2013.
Minnehaha Depot station sign 3 31 2013
On the east and west sides of the depot is this station sign. This is the west one. Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-31-2013.
Minnehaha Depot 4 8 2013
Here is a view of the whole depot from looking west across from Minnehaha Avenue. When I was younger the road was much wider and (according to Minnehaha Depot guru Corbin Kidder) still had old streetcar rails buried in them. That all changed once the park got a makeover. Streetcars can be seen in front of the depot in a historic photo of the King and Queen of Sweden visiting the park. This picture is available for viewing inside the depot when it is open Sundays and holidays from Memorial to Labor Day. Man I love this place! Photo taken by Tony Held on 4-8-2013.

The old Milwaukee Road from 46th Street to Minnehaha Parkway

End of active rails north of 46th Street Mpls 3 31 2013
North of 46th Street this marker can be found which denotes the current end of active track on the old Milwaukee Road line into Minnehaha Park.   South of it the rails literally plunge under the pavement at 46th Street.   Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-31 -2013.
Old MILW 46th St grade crossing Mpls 3 31 2013
The grade crossing along the old Milwaukee Road at 46th Street is paved over with nary a grade crossing sign to be found. However, the rails are still intact underneath the asphalt. Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-31-2013.
Former Milwaukee Road south of 46th St Mpls 3 31 2013
Here we are now looking south along the old Milwaukee Road from the south side of the 46th Avenue crossing. Here the rails resurface and continue on their way south.  Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-31-2013.
Out of gauge rails north of Nawadaha Blvd Minneapolis 3 31 2013
Now we are along the old Milwaukee Road just north of Nawadaha Boulevard. Uh oh, looks like the left-hand rails are trying to come out of gauge. Fix this, somebody! Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-31-2013.
Another view of switch remains on north side of Nawadaha Blvd Mpls 3 31 2013
An industry north of Nawadaha Blvd now served by truck once got rail service via the Milwaukee Road. Here is a southward-facing view of the gutted remains of the switch for the long-gone spur. Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-31-2013.
Switch remains along old Milwaukee Road on north side of Nawadaha Blvd 3 31 2013
In this northward-looking view of the gutted switch near Nawadaha, the business once served by the spur track off of here is visible in the background. Rotten shame it did not keep rail service; that way the line would still be active all the way to the park. Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-31-2013.
Looking north up old Milwaukee Road from Minnehaha Parkway 3 31 2013
We are on the north side of Minnehaha Parkway looking north towards Nawadaha Boulevard. Here the old Milwaukee Rails have sunk low into the earth and were partially submerged by snowmelt this day. Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-31-2013.
Looking south along old Milwaukee at Minnehaha Parkway 3 31 2013
Now we are looking south across Minnehaha Parkway. The Longfellow House replica is visible in the right background. Parkway traffic has always kept the rails buffed and shiny here, and the cross bucks still stand with “Exempt” signs fixed beneath them. Photo taken by Tony Held on 3-3