Wisconsin Historical Society

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Architecture and History Inventory
120 HIGH ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Soo Line Depot (Railroad)
Other Name:
Reference Number:47322
Location (Address):120 HIGH ST
County:St. Croix
City:New Richmond
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1915
Survey Date:1983
Historic Use:depot
Architectural Style:Other Vernacular
Structural System:
Wall Material:Stone - Unspecified
Other Buildings On Site:0
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Soo Line Depot
National Register Listing Date:5/31/1988 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:Multiple Resources of New Richmond
Additional Information:This one story building has a basically rectangular plan and stone exterior fabric. The bottom third is rock faced. This is topped by a belt line and the upper part of the building has a smooth face. The roof is cross gable. The four gables have parapet roofs. "New Richmond" is written on each gable. There are large wood knee braces that support a wide overhang. This overhang or eave has a different slope than the roof. The eave has exposed rafters with a wood board perpendicular to them awt the outer edge of the eave. The knee braces connect with this. On the wall a small corbel base lies under the braces. Windows are 6/1. Narrow windows are in each gable. The north or front side has a door near the east edge and a window west of this. A one window wide ell is just west. It has four windows. Farther west is another window, a door and a window. Between this and the building edge is a garage-like door. The west side has a wood platform. The north side has a wood wall and there is a gable roof. The platform sits above the ground on an open base. A garage door is on this side. The south side has two windows in the west part. A very narrow (one foot) ell across from the other ell has four windows on the south side. Two windows are east of this. On the east side are two windows. A walk or concrete platform surrounds the building. Tracks are on both north and south sides. It is used for office or storage space today. This station has retained much of its original integrity. It is in good condition. It has no characterists that would give it architectural significance. Background The Wisconsin Central or Soo Line reached the city in 1884. It was the second line in New Richmond; the Omaha had arrived in 1872. Today the Soo Line originates in Chicago adn goes to the Pacific coast. The Canadian Pacific is the parent company. The original Soo Line was the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad. They leased the Wisconsin Central. In 1961 the Soo, Wisconsin Central and Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic merged into the Soo Line Railroad Company. The line carried passengers and freight. Lumber and agricultural products were common cargoes. They were vital to New Richmond's economy. Passenger service on this lene ceased in 1968. The Omaha LIne no longer operates in New Richmond and their tracks have been torn up with the last year. This depot was built on the site of the old depot in 1915. The old depot withstood the tornado in 1899 but burned later. The present station was built to be fireproof. It was built of Colfax stone. The dimension was reported to be 110 feet long including a freight warehouse under the same roof. A 14' or 16' platform was to be put up betweewn the depot and main track and it would be as long as the station. Another platform would be put up later (both gone now). The rail line was south of the depot then. Two waiting rooms that seated 75 people and a ticket office between them was planned. Passage was possible between the room. Interior finish was hardwood and a heating plant was in the basement. Early engines were wood burning and there were two piles of wood, one on the north by the Soo Line and one on the south side by the Omaha line. Each line had a company surgeon in town to take care of burns or crushed bones. Until trucking and air freight became economically competitive with the rails, it was the fastest transportation system for the cost for both people and freight. In 1915 the rails werw still the most common form of transportation. Their decline would occur some years later. Significance This depot is the only building remaining that represents the earlier age of railroading and its importance to New Richmond transportation for the flour and lumber mill products as well as farm products, was probably of greater importance than passenger service. The Soo Line station, because of its role int he transportation of good and, therefore in the development of the community, has historical significance.
Bibliographic References:
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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