Minneapolis and Pacific Railroad, later renamed the Soo
Line, was laid through Annandale in 1886 and a depot was
built. The depot has a waiting room for men and
another smoke-free and spit-free for ladies. The
stationmaster's room separates the two so the ticket
agent could sell tickets through windows in both
telegraph in the stationmaster's room recalls the time
when long distance communication was only by letter or
code which was transmitted over wires strung on poles
next to the train tracks. The constant clicking of
the telegraph key was a part of the atmosphere of the
early depot. The two large levers to the left of
the stationmaster's chair were connected with uprights
high above the depot. The projecting arms signaled
messages to the engineer and conductor of passing trains.
The fork like device held up a mailbag which was
grabbed "on the fly" without the train
Depot & Gift Shop
To those of
us who travel by car and keep in touch by phone, it is
difficult to imagine the incredible influence that trains
had on the settling of America. Instead of a 2 or 3
month trip up canals and rivers followed by a strenuous
journey by ox-cart, a family could land in New York
Harbor and be in Minnesota 3 or 4 days later.
Thousands of immigrants came to the big woods area
via train. Settlers could order anything imaginable
from Sears Roebuck or Montgomery Wards and it would
arrive by train. Soldiers who went to fight in the
Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, and Korea left
from and r eturned to the Annandale depot.
In the spring, the
be filled with chirping until farmers came to pick up
their day-old chicks. All the mail came and went
from the depot, as did important telegrams.
In 1972, the
Soo line discontinued service to Annandale. Because
he depot had been such a vital part of Annandale's
community life, efforts were made to preserve it.
Those efforts became Pioneer Park when the depot
was moved to its present location.
Poke Bonnet Gift Shop is located in the former baggage
room of the depot. The gift shop is open during our
summer hours and especially during school tours. Come in
and browse around, you will find crafts, souvenirs, old
fashioned stick candy for all ages, children’s toys and
books for the history buff. You will be pleasantly
pleased with our prices.
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
information 320-274-8489 or
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Call office during week for weekend availability
Citizens (60 and over): $5
(6-16 yrs.): $3.00
yrs and under: Free
by an adult
at all times.
cannot accept credit cards.
admission may vary from General Admission, see
individual event for admission prices.
Tour takes up
at 4:00 PM
Open to the
public. visitors welcome
6:30 p.m. on
the first Tuesday of each month.
speaker or a presentation will be