“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fennimore in Grant County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

The “Dinky”

The "Dinky" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Gordon Govier, October 3, 2009
1. The "Dinky" Marker
Inscription. Fennimore's narrow gauge train, affectionately known as the "Dinky," operated from 1878 to 1926, far longer than most 3-foot gauge lines in Wisconsin. At a nearby depot, standard and narrow-gauge trains exchanged their passengers and freight. Trains ran daily between Fennimore and Woodman by way of Werley, Anderson Mills and Conley Cut, meandering 16 miles through the Green River Valley and serving as a key link to other railroads. The line was famous for a horseshoe curve that made it possible to climb the steep slope from the valley to the ridge west of Fennimore.

The "Dinky" was noted for its versatility, carrying farmers, fishermen, salesmen and school children, as well as the U.S. mail, milk, livestock, and other freight. The narrow gauge line was a remnant of a larger, 92-mile system in southwestern Wisconsin purchased by the Chicago and Northwestern in 1880. All except the Fennimore-Woodman line were converted in 1882 to standard (4-feet, 8 ½-inches) gauge.

Narrow gauge tracks once were scattered across the country, as railroad builders looked for economy in construction and equipment costs to reach remote areas. At the peak of narrow gauge operations, the state had 150 miles, some used in logging operations in northern Wisconsin, now all abandoned.
The "Dinky" image. Click for full size.
By Gordon Govier, January 15, 2005
2. The "Dinky"
1989 by Wisconsin Historical Society. (Marker Number 286.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Wisconsin Historical Society marker series.
Location. 42° 59.177′ N, 90° 39.345′ W. Marker is in Fennimore, Wisconsin, in Grant County. Marker is on Lincoln Avenue (U.S. 18) 0 miles south of 6th Street, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is located at the Fennimore Railroad Museum‎. Marker is at or near this postal address: 610 Lincoln Ave., Fennimore WI 53809, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Gideons (approx. 9.5 miles away); The First Civil War Monument (approx. 10 miles away); Nelson Dewey (approx. 10.1 miles away); Old Rock Church (approx. 11.1 miles away); Crossing the River (approx. 11.7 miles away); Boscobel - A River Town (approx. 11.7 miles away); The River (approx. 11.7 miles away); Trade Links – River Borne (approx. 11.7 miles away).
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Gordon Govier of Monona, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 891 times since then and 83 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Gordon Govier of Monona, Wisconsin. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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