Historical Society (13 April 2005)
Contact: Crystal Wendt
----Sources: Marshfield News Herald (Marshfield, Wood County, Wis.) Wed, Apr 13, 2005
Loyal Historical Society 'brings back spirit' of RR line
By Matt Ollwerther, Marshfield News-Herald
LOYAL - The Loyal Historical Society is working to restore the faded sound of the antique railroad whistle before thousands of potential visitors visit the area this summer.
The project involves a replica of the Loyal depot station-turned-museum donated by Irban Aumann.
"It is complete inside and filled with valuable artifacts from the Loyal area and railroad artifacts," said Dorothy Boit, president of the Loyal Historical Society.
Officials are hoping to open the museum for the July 4 weekend, just before thousands will stream into the area for Farm Technology Days, which takes place July 12-14.
Sharing of transportation costs from moving the museum from Aumann's farm to its site off Highway 98 between the Loyal city council and the society created a few grumbles, but most issues seem to be coming toward a resolution, Boit said.
The museum has made slow but steady progress in recent months, first being transported to the site on temporary pillars, then moving onto more permanent foundations. The chimney is finished and the deck is close to being complete, Boit said. The next step involves placing a boxcar onto railroad tracks and the installation of a nearby water tower.
"We're in the process of finishing the move," said Joan Knack, secretary and treasurer of the Loyal Historical Society. The society is hoping to raise $40,000 over time to fund the museum, Knack said.
The museum's hours are yet to be decided, but Knack said it likely will be open on some weekends and by appointment.
The society, which formed in August, is just beginning to learn the ropes, Knack said. Its long-term plans include erecting a replica of a country schoolhouse and keeping the city's family records on compact discs.
For now, the historical society is focused on the railroad museum and bringing back the spirit of the Soo Line.
"We've got a wonderful history here," Boit said. "I think it's going to be a wonderful thing for Loyal." Matt Ollwerther can be reached at 384-3131, at 800-967-2087, ext. 358, or at mollwerther@ marshfieldnewsherald.com.
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