Tricounty News

More memories of the railroad

I just wanted to add a little to the history of the railroad through Kimball.

When I was in elementary school in Kimball, we lived on the old Doctor Sherwood Guernsey Farm, if people can remember that.

Every Sunday morning, I would wait for the westbound Soo Line train to go through Kimball. The train ran just south of the house, so it was just a short walk to watch the train. I would sit or stand by the fence, and every Sunday morning, the train crew would toss out the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune for us. We never had to buy a Sunday paper. Besides, we probably could not afford it anyhow.

The crew would always wave at us, as we waited for the train. They were always on time. As soon as they saw us, out came the big bundle of the Sunday paper. That was a real treat back then, to have a new Sunday paper.

Back in those days, the mail would always arrive by the westbound train. There was a hook on the depot post where the train crew would hook the mail bag. On one occasion, they missed the hook, and the mail bag got sucked under the train, scattering mail everywhere. When that happened, the Soo Line employees would look for days, trying to find the mail that was scattered  along the tracks.

Watching the train when I was young, was really a treat. As the train approached from the east, I could see the big puffs of smoke from the engine. In wind-free days, the smoke would linger in the air for a long time. It was such a wonderful site, in the winter, to see all that white steam in the air.

Yes those were the “good old days”. The old Sherwood house always shook as the train passed every day. I can remember my dad telling Doc Sherwood, “Doc, your old house really shakes when the train passes.”  Doc’s reply to dad,“ You would shake, too, if you were as old as this house.”

I am sure lots of folks do not remember the old Sherwood farm, now mostly developed, and split by the Soo Line Railroad.  Arnold’s of Kimball now occupies some of the old Doc Sherwood farm. The Sherwood farm was on both sides of Hwy 55, and ran right up behind where the old Catholic church was in those days.  My dad farmed all that land back when I was in second and third grade. Dad rented that farm for two years. Part of the old Sherwood farm was located west of the depot. Neil and Mary Spaulding’s house is located where there was a nice apple orchard on the Sherwood farm.

I hope you enjoy a little more history of the Soo Line Railroad, and depot.

Rodney H Hess

Zimmerman MN 55398

Editor’s note: Thank you for sharing your personal memories of the railroad station. We trust other readers will enjoy them as well.