Save the Northfield Depot received word this week that it was one of twelve national recipients of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) Heritage Grants for 2016. The award of $2,000 will be used to help build replacements for eleven of the original twenty-four roof brackets on the depot that were removed in 1944 when a freight house was attached. The brackets are an important part of enhancing the historical integrity of the 1888 Milwaukee Depot.
The funding to purchase the wood will leverage the many hours of volunteer work ahead to produce the unique, detailed brackets. The NRHS 2016 recipients included historical societies, museums and an NRHS chapter. The Northfield project was one of only two related to depot buildings; a majority of the grants were awarded to museum collections or restored engines and train cars.
The white pine stock for the project will be obtained at-cost from Dennis Lien of South Range, WI and dried this summer in a storage facility provided through the generosity of Jim Gleason. Initially, templates were made using existing brackets that are in excellent condition. Volunteer Richard Schulte used the templates to craft prototypes during the winter (see photo). Next fall, volunteers will produce the final brackets.
Save the Northfield Depot is grateful for the NRHS Northstar Chapter recommendation in support of their application and for the financial award of NRHS Heritage Grants towards the restoration of the historic Northfield depot.