Soo Line Steam Locomotive 2442
Wildwood Park, Marshfield, Wood County
Builder: American Locomotive Company
Construction date: 1911
The city of Marshfield owes its existence to the Wisconsin Central Railroad In 1871, the railroad chose this site, which was located in the middle of its route, as the place to erect a supply depot and control center. Along with the depot, the Railroad also built a log hotel to house the men who were building the route, and these modest buildings were the beginning of what quickly became a thriving manufacturing center that the railroad named "Marshfield."
In 1890, the tracks of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad reached Marshfield as well, and by 1893 more than 1000 freight cars and 28 passenger trains were passing through the city every day. By 1904, Marshfield had become an important regional manufacturing and transportation center that was nicknamed "Hub City" because of its exceptional rail facilities. While steam locomotive service ended in 1956, long freight trains pulled by diesel engine locomotives continue to pass through Marshfield on a daily basis even today.
Soo Line Steam Locomotive No. 2442 is now one of the very few surviving resources historically associated with Marshfield's steam locomotive days. No. 2442 was built in May of 1911 by the Schenectady, New York plant of the American Locomotive Company (Alco), and it is an excellent and now very rare surviving example of this company's early twentieth century 2-8-0 Consolidation type steam locomotives. No. 2442 was constructed for the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railroad (Soo Line) and it was operated by the Wisconsin Central Railroad, which was leased to the Soo Line beginning in 1909. No. 2442 was one of 15 identical locomotives that the Soo Line purchased in 1911, but it is now the only survivor of this group. No. 2442 hauled freight trains in Marshfield and elsewhere in Wisconsin from 1911 until November of 1956, when it was donated to the City of Marshfield. Since then, the locomotive and its tender have been restored and they are now on static display in Marshfield's Wildwood Park. The locomotive may be seen at the park.