Milwaukee Road station agents affectionately referred to the quaint little Minnehaha Depot as "the Princess." Its delicate gingerbread architecture is reminiscent of the Victorian era when ladies in bustles and gentlemen in high collars traveled largely by train.
The first track connecting Minneapolis with Mendota was laid in 1865 by the Minnesota Central Railway, the predecessor of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway. The Princess was built in the mid-1870s to replace a smaller station here. Throngs of picnickers and sight-seers took the sixteen-minute ride from Minneapolis to Minnehaha Park and the old Longfellow Gardens Zoo, while others traveled to and from Fort Snelling and Mendota. In 1910 three trains made thirteen round trips daily to the depot. It was the scene of feverish activity during World War I and II because of the military traffic in and out of Fort Snelling.
The Milwaukee Road closed the station in August, 1963, and presented it to the Minnesota Historical Society in 1964. The Minnesota Transportation Museum, Inc., an affiliate of the society, has undertaken the restoration and maintenance of the depot.
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