About Us

About Us

End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum is a twelve-acre county park, museum, and historic site that features over fifteen historic buildings, structures, and rolling stock dedicated to preserving and interpreting the early history of Currie, the Shetek area, and its 20th Century railroad history. Nestled on the northern edge of a historic community, the park is a fun and educational destination for large tours as well as quaint family gatherings. You will be surprised by what you find at this beautiful museum.

Not all the park buildings are related to the area’s railroad history. Among them are a:

Restored general store built in 1872
Replica wheat grist mill
Rural country school house built around 1890
Presbyterian church built in 1873 (that still holds services every Sunday in the warmer months)
Replica of the first courthouse in the county.

Among the railroad related buildings in the park are the:

Original Currie Depot
Replica of the original Currie Railyard Enginehouse
Replica coal bunker [now a picnic shelter available for rentals. See details: https://endoline.com/portfolios/tours/]
An original rail water tower
Section’s Foreman’s house from Comfrey, MN built in 1899
Miniature Depot built in the 1970s using parts from formerly built train depots

Rolling stock artifacts include:

1940s diesel switcher engine
1930s cupola-style Grand Trunk Western Railway caboose
1875 narrow-gauge 2-6-0 Baldwin steam engine
Three inspector/repair cars made by Fairmont Motor Company
1922 4-6-0 steam engine from the Georgia Northern Railway #102
1940s Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway caboose

Another unique and popular feature of the park is a large H-O model train layout depicting the Currie railyards and southern Lake Shetek area around 1901. It was built in late 1970s by two area teachers who had a passion for modeling.

But after all these years, the park’s greatest structure remains the turntable. When you visit and take a guided tour, guests are given a spin on the Nationally Registered Historic Landmark. It is the only exclusively hand-operated railroad turntable in its original location still operational in Minnesota and one of the remaining few in the country.

The park is located at 440 North Mill Street on Murray County Hwy 38 off of US Hwy 30 in Currie. We are open during set hours from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. Outside of that time frame during the month of May and after Labor Day until Minnesota Educators Academy (MEA) Weekend, the park is open by pre-arranged appointment only.

Any questions can be directed to 507-763-3708, endoline@co.murray.mn.us, or PO Box 57, Slayton, MN 56172

History

Currie’s railroad history began in 1900, when the Des Moines Valley Railway Company completed a branch line to this small village of a few hundred residents located in Murray County in southwest Minnesota. Although Currie was the first town founded in the county in 1872, it lacked rail service for the first thirty years of its existence. Immediately upon the Currie line’s completion, it was the purchased by the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railway (CStPM&O, commonly called the Omaha Road) and rail service to Currie commenced in the spring of 1900.

Passenger traffic and freight hauling on the Currie line peaked in the early 1920s and declined swiftly as the automobile became more common. By 1930, the Omaha Road had reduced service on the line and by the mid-1950s, a station agent no longer staffed the Currie depot. By 1972, the Currie branch line was used only occasionally for freight service; even that came to an end later in the decade. The last train into Currie was a diesel engine delivering a load of fertilizer to the Currie grain elevator in 1977. The Currie branch line was officially abandoned on January 8, 1980. On that date eighty years of rail service to Currie came to a decisive end.

However, even before the line was abandoned, local interest began to restore the area. In 1972, a new initiative by the state Minnesota 4-H organization called Community Pride challenged all 4-H youth clubs in the state to develop and complete a project that would improve their local communities. Colleen Illg and Roxanne Probst, two teenaged 4-H members from Currie’s 4-H Club called the Poco-a-Poco Club, advised by adult leaders Louise Gervais and Dorothy Ruppert decided that their club’s project would be to clean up the abandoned turntable. For their efforts, they were chosen to represent the county at the state Community Pride Conference held in St. Paul. The club was honored as one of the top eight projects out of 400 in Minnesota.

The following year, the club noticed an ad in the local paper stating that the original Currie depot was up for sale and needed to be moved off the property or it would be destroyed. Gervais and Ruppert instructed the girls to write to the Chicago & North Western Railroad about the depot. Within a few weeks, they had an answer; the Railroad would sell the depot to the club for $1 provided it was moved off the property. It took about two years to raise the funds to buy land across the street near the turntable and to move the depot to its present site. The 4-H club leaders soon realized the park was going to be too much for them to handle on a volunteer basis and asked the County Government of Murray County to take it over as a county park in 1975. The county also asked Louise Gervais to be the park’s seasonal director and curator. She would not “retire” from this role until 2010; though she remained involved with the park until her death in 2017. For over 40 years, Gervais’ persistence and dedication to preserving local history led to what the park is today.