Great Lakes Train Museum Scavenger Hunt unveils Depot’s history
The St. Louis County Depot hosted a Great Lakes Train Museum Scavenger Hunt from 4-6 pm on Friday. Guests could see all the blueprints from the depot’s history, revealing changes made over the years.
"You come into the building today, and it’s this beautiful old building, but you don’t really have any kind of indication of what spaces were in the past,” explained Program Coordinator Hailey Eibenschink. “So you get to walk in and see historic photographs, see what the building looked like in 1930, 1960. Those blueprints just kind of let you shift back in time a little bit and experience the past in conjunction with the present."
Working alongside Lake Superior Railroad Museum Assistant Curator Corrie Hackbarth, Eibenschink wanted to come up with an interactive way to showcase the Depot’s unique history.
“It was really fun doing the research because we found some fun things that we never knew about the building,” said Hackbarth.
Many discoveries were made while creating the scavenger hunt, such as a ceiling that used to be lower, the former location of a barbershop, and a mysterious basement window. For both Hackbarth and Eibenschink, however, the favorite discovery was that of a trunk shoot.
There was a spot up on Michigan Street where people could drop their trunks down and then they’d go into the baggage area. We don’t know all the details exactly, but we found them on the blueprints,” explained Hackbarth. “And then when we went outside and looked at the building in the front the chute was on. There’s metal on the front of the turret, and the other turret is totally stone and brick like it should be, and so we’ve been kind of able to piece together where that was.”
“It’s the kind of thing that we’ve walked by countless times, and you stop seeing it,” added Eibenschink. “And once we see it on the blueprints, like, oh, and it was there and gone so quickly on those 1918 blueprints, it’s like kind of scribbled out. So the thought is that they were probably replacing it, getting rid of it at that time.”
The event was part of the Twin Ports Festival of History hosted by UMD. The festival goes until Monday and will continue Saturday with a walking tour of Duluth’s maritime history at the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center from 11am to 1pm. The full list of events can be found on the “Twin Ports Festival of History” Facebook page.