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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Two Harbors in Lake County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Hand Car, Velocipede, Sleigh, Station Wagon

 
 
Hand Car, Velocipede, Sleigh, Station Wagon Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 10, 2014
1. Hand Car, Velocipede, Sleigh, Station Wagon Marker
Inscription.

Hand Car
Hand and Push Cars were primarily used by section crews to move men and equipment to local work sites. Hand cars did not have a reverse gear and had to be picked up by four men and turned to face the opposite direction.

[Photo caption reads] In addition to road work the hand car was ideal for a berry picking excursion.

Velocipede
Velocipedes were used primarily by foremen and track inspectors. Due to the portability of the design they were highly susceptible to theft. The following documents share some humor surrounding the loss of a certain velocipede and the recovery of another one while looking for the first.

[Several memo images on the marker]

Using hand cars and velocipedes for anything other than railroad business was strictly forbidden as demonstrated by the memo from road master John Shea.
[Image of D&IR memo]

In 1921 the D&IR owned:
120 hand cars at $50.00 each.
126 push cars at $30.00 each.
63 velocipedes at $35.00 each.

Many of these were leased to other railroads or logging firms doing business with the railroad.

Sleigh
It is believed that this sleigh may be one of the first pieces of equipment purchased by the D&IR RR. Original cost in 1883 was $60.00.

The sleigh was restored in
Hand Car, Velocipede, Sleigh, Station Wagon and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 10, 2014
2. Hand Car, Velocipede, Sleigh, Station Wagon and Marker
2010. The runners were completely rebuilt by Bruce Hanson and the seats and body were restored by Ryan Williams.

Station Wagon
The wagon on display is an example of what was used to ferry men along some of the rough roads in the area during the construction period of the railroad. It is unlikely that long journeys such as from Duluth to Two Harbors were made in these types of wagons. Steamships from Duluth ran daily to the village of Agate Bay and passenger service was established between Duluth and Two Harbors by 1886.

There was a stage company run by Barney Lynch between Two Harbors and Duluth that included the winter U.S. Mail contract.

The wagon displayed here was purchased in July of 188x for $60.00. The wagon was a "station wagon" providing local transportation for people arriving by rail.

This interpretive panel and restoration work was made possible through a grant from the LaBounty Family Fund, part of the Two Harbors Area Fund and the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.
 
Erected by Lake County Historical Society.
 
Location. 47° 1.131′ N, 91° 40.22′ W. Marker is in Two Harbors, Minnesota, in Lake County. Click for map. Marker and equipment are at the Lake County Historical Society Depot
Hand Car image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 10, 2014
3. Hand Car
Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 520 South Avenue, Two Harbors MN 55616, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. D&IR Railroad Company Sleigh (here, next to this marker); Duluth and Iron Range Depot (a few steps from this marker); First Ore Taken From A Minnesota Mine (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named First Ore Taken From A Minnesota Mine (a few steps from this marker); Ore Car #251, 1884 & Bobber Caboose #22 (#52), 1893 (a few steps from this marker); Duluth and Iron Range Railroad Locomotive #3 (within shouting distance of this marker); Duluth Missabe & Iron Range Yellowstone Mallet #229 (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); John Dwan Office Building (about 800 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Two Harbors.
 
Also see . . .
1. Lake County Historical Society Depot Museum. (Submitted on November 11, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Missabe Railroad Historical Society. (Submitted on November 11, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. History of Minnesota's Vermillion Iron Range Mining Activity & Towns (through 1922). (Submitted on November 11, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesRailroads & StreetcarsRoads & Vehicles
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 186 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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