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

Wayzata Depot

Wayzata Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 4, 2015
1. Wayzata Depot Marker
Inscription. The Wayzata Depot was built in 1906 by James J. Hill, owner of the Great Northern Railroad. The English Tudor structure, designed by architect Samuel Bartlett, was noted for its hot water heat and indoor plumbing and at one time was considered the handsomest depot on the line.

The first train came to town on August 24, 1867. At the time, Wayzata was the end of the line for the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, predecessor of the Great Northern. The first depot was located east of here, near Broadway Avenue. As the line expended westward, Wayzata citizens were outraged when a crew began laying ties on the stage road that ran in front of their shops, threatening to subject the town to a barrage of cinders and sparks. Thus began the famous feud between Wayzata and the “Empire Builder” Hill.

Hill is said to have threatened to wipe Wayzata off the map. He razed the Broadway Depot in 1893 and relocated the train stop a mile to the east, where he built a small depot named Holdridge. Tradition has it that Hill threatened, “Wayzata residents can walk a mile for the next 20 years!” Still, to accommodate his influential friends on the west end of town, Hill provided the Ferndale platform train stop. After twelve years of Wayzata residents trudging through marshy terrain to reach the train, Hill relented
Wayzata Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 4, 2015
2. Wayzata Depot Marker
The tracks and the station platform can be seen through the trees.
and built the present depot, putting Wayzata back on the map.

The railroad was central to the “Golden Age” (1867–1929) in Wayzata as people from Southern states came to the village by train to enjoy the cool summer breezes on Lake Minnetonka. Large steam boats transported visitors to the numerous hotels built to accommodate these Southern guests, and Wayzata flourished and grew.

In 1971, the Great Northern railroad closed the depot and donated it to the city of Wayzata. Currently, coal, grain and mixed freight trains pass through Wayzata with Burlington Northern Santa Fe destinations throughout the western half of the United States.
Erected 2006 by the city and the Wayzata Historical Society. This plaque was donated in honor of Glenn A. and Mary C. Fide.
Location. 44° 58.207′ N, 93° 30.977′ W. Marker is in Wayzata, Minnesota, in Hennepin County. Marker is at the intersection of Lake Street East (County Route 16) and Manitoba Avenue, on the right when traveling west on Lake Street East. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 402 Lake St E, Wayzata MN 55391, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Christmas Lake (approx. 4˝ miles away);
Wayzata Depot, Trackside image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 4, 2015
3. Wayzata Depot, Trackside
Soldiers Memorial (approx. 5.1 miles away); Geology of Lake Minnetonka (approx. 5.1 miles away); In Honor of All Who Served and Those Who Died (approx. 5.2 miles away); Peter M. Gideon (approx. 5.9 miles away); Peter M. Gideon and the Wealthy Apple (approx. 5.9 miles away); Veterans Monument (approx. 7.6 miles away); 9/11 Memorial (approx. 7.9 miles away).
Regarding Wayzata Depot. The depot, on Lake Minnetonka, houses the Wayzata Chamber of Commerce and the Wayzata Historical Society and its small museum. The Wayzata Garden Club maintains the grounds beautifully and there is a small garden railroad next to the station that is operated Saturday afternoons in late spring, summer and early fall.
Also see . . .  About WayzataPage at the Wayzata Historical Society Website. “With commercial traffic by steamboats becoming common on Lake Minnetonka, Wayzata’s position as closest to St. Paul assured growth for our town. After the Civil War, vacationers from the steamy south began enjoying cool breezy summers at the lake and the era of
Wayzata Depot, East Face image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 4, 2015
4. Wayzata Depot, East Face
the resort arrived. In 1867 the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (today's Burlington Northern-Sante Fe) extended its tracks to Wayzata, making Wayzata the transportation hub of the area. James J. Hill, who would later have a major role in Wayzata’s history, was at the time a St. Paul freight agent for the railroad.” (Submitted on May 8, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.) 
Additional comments.
1. Great Northern Railway Timetable, 1925
“Frequent trains during Summer bet. St. Paul, Minnpls. and Lake Minnetonka” reads the December 1925 Official Guide of the Railways. Cross-country named trains like The Orient Limited between Chicago and Seattle, and the Glacier Park Limited between St. Paul, Minneapolis and Seattle ran through Wayzata but did not stop in the winter. This timetable had three morning trains, two afternoon trains and two evening trains stopping at this station in December.

A half-page advertisement in the Guide reads, “Travel via Great Northern to California. You will travel through your country’s real historic land, see some of the world’s most inspiring scenery in the dress of Autumn. Cross the Great Northern Rockies and Cascades via Glacier National Park and Spokane,
Wayzata Depot, West Face image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, May 4, 2015
5. Wayzata Depot, West Face
Seattle, Tacoma and Portland. The Scenic Northwest — Over 1100 miles of smokeless, cinderless travel behind giant oil-burning locomotives specially built to pull the Oriental Limited, the Train Supreme—No Extra Fare. Literature describing this trip and train mailed free. A. J. Dickinson, Passenger Traffic Manager, St. Paul, Minn.” This routing to San Francisco would add an extra day from Chicago. The Oriental Limited left Chicago daily at 11 PM and arrived in Seattle at 7 PM three days later. It carried coaches, a dining car and two sleeping cars from Chicago to Tacoma (just past Seattle), another from Chicago to Portland, and a fourth from St. Paul to Seattle. The return left Seattle at 8 PM and arrived in Chcago at 7:55 PM three days later.
    — Submitted May 8, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
James J. Hill (left) with Carl R. Gray, President of the Union Pacific Railroad image. Click for full size.
By Bain News Service, circa 1913
6. James J. Hill (left) with Carl R. Gray, President of the Union Pacific Railroad
Glass negative photograph in the Bain Collection at the Library of Congress. Via Wikipedia Commons.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 8, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 312 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 8, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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