Adapted from an article originally written in 2008
For 100 years the Great Northern, later the Burlington Northern, depot had occupied the same location, north of the tracks and east of First Street, in Rutland. On June 1, 1987, a moving crew, commanded by Nick Schmidt, Wyndmere, picked the building up and moved it to new location one block south on the corner of First and Arthur Street, in Rutland. The depot now faces east. Once the center for commerce and information in the community, the 28′ X 60′ structure is now used as a Heritage Center for the Rutland community, “The Depot Museum.”
In 1886 the Great Northern Railroad laid track as far west as Rutland. The following year the Railroad was extended southwest to Aberdeen, and west, to Ellendale. During this year the Great Northern had a complex of buildings, including the depot, a water tower, coal dock, roundhouse and section house, constructed in Rutland to service its equipment and serve its customers. The business of the railroad was to move freight and the east half of the depot was a freight warehouse. The west half was a passenger waiting room. The office was located between the freight house and waiting room. Telegraph operators were on duty round the clock to send and receive messages and to relay messages to stations on the Aberdeen and Ellendale lines. Two freight trains and two passenger trains stopped in Rutland each day on the Aberdeen line. Another train originated in Rutland and made a round trip to Ellendale each day. The Ellendale line was extended to Forbes, N. D. in 1905 and was known as the Forbes line thereafter.
Mr. Bagley was the Great Northern’s first agent in Rutland. He gave his name to one of Rutland’s streets and is said to have contributed the name of his home town, Rutland, Vermont, to the new village on the prairie. At that time the agent’s pay was partly based on the volume of business transacted at his station. Because Rutland was a junction point and the station was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the business volume was greater than at other stations and the pay was correspondingly higher. Although this system was changed in later years it made the agent’s job a desirable one in the early days.Continue reading “Rutland Depot Jumps the Tracks”