Historic Northland Railroad Car Restored

Posted at: 09/21/2013 9:49 PM | Updated at: 09/21/2013 11:32 PM
By: Emily Haavik

The Lake Superior Railroad Museum is celebrating the restoration of a 120-year-old train car.

It's the very first car built for the Merritts, the family that discovered iron ore on the Range and built a railroad connecting Duluth to those mines.

The car was unveiled Saturday. The museum's former curator, Tom Gannon, has spent 15 years restoring it by hand. After he retired from the museum, he continued to work on it as a volunteer every day for the last three years. He said the Merritt family used the car for business.

"There was no other way to get around, especially in Northern Minnesota where the roads were so bad," he said. "So if they needed to take some investors up to show the property in Mountain Iron this is the way they did it. Put them on the train and went up there and conducted business."

Gannon said the car is made entirely of wood, and the style is typical of its time period.

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