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.