Arts and Travel Club learns history of railroad’s impact on Mobridge

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Members of the Mobridge Arts and Travel Club met Monday at the home of Lynn Kuehl, where Diane Kindt presented a program on the railroad and its impact on the area.
Kindt told about General S.E. Olson, a sportsman who traveled by train to Bowdle and thought about how the railroad would expand westward and where it would cross the Missouri River. He thought the Mobridge area would be a grand crossing for the Milwaukee Railroad and that the area should be named Grand Crossing. Now, 106 years later, we still have a Grand Crossing in Mobridge.
Mobridge became the hub of railroad people, along with a YMCA, roundhouse, huge ice house, Petra Olson’s boarding house and café, a small hospital, the first post office and the Milwaukee Land Company.
Mobridge became the heart of the railroad in the Dakotas because it was the center of the Milwaukee mainline. The last steam engine came through Mobridge about 1953 when the diesel engines took over. Trains still pass through but only carry freight. Their whistles tell us when they enter the city, and although times change Mobridge continues to be a thriving community without the railroad as it once was.
The program committee of Kuehl, Mary McCorkle, Betty Reich and Delphine Steuck served a steak supper with salads, fruit, French bread and dessert. The group also heard reports and held a short business meeting.
The next meeting is Oct. 22 at Pizza Ranch.

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