Created By: Coleman Memorial Museum
Great Northern Railroad Depot
Ellendale's Great Northern depot was built in 1905, following the elegant structural style preferred by James J. Hill's famous rail company. This structure replaced the original Great Northern depot, which was located on the northeast side of Ellendale, just west of the Presbyterian-Methodist Church.
The Grant Northern rail line itself reached Ellendale from the east in 1886, giving the town its second rail connection an added linkage to Minneapolis-St. Paul, and adding more mail service. The tracks did not cross the north-south rail line of the Milwaukee road until1905, when the Great Northern company built a leg from Ellendale to the new town of Forbes, fifteen miles to the southwest. That same year, the new depot was constructed, and it stands today. The present owners place a high value on the historic nature of this building, and have carefully preserved its outward appearance while converting it into a fine home.
The railroad track itself--which was decommissioned and removed in the mid 1980s, was situated on the left side of the depot. Now that the Milwaukee and the Great Northern depots were adjacent to one another, passengers and goods could easily transfer from one line to the other. Ellendale is unusual among small communities for having had two rail lines (an east-west and a north-south), and thus being a crossroads for the area. Ellendale was thus a very well-connected town.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Ellendale - Tour of the Core City