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Noyes Depot: Port Of Entry


Laurie Ness


In the year 1906, the first depot in Noyes, Minnesota wasbuilt. It was built by the Great Northern and Soo Line Railroads on landowned by both railroads. The building was constructed by the Great Northernwith the Soo Line paying half of the construction costs. The Immigrationand Customs Office was on the south end of the building. The detentioncells were in the Immigration sections.

Employees are hired and paid by the Great Northern. Theirsalaries are paid by both railroad companies according to the car volumeeach handles. The appointment of the agent alternates with each railroad. The first agent was Mr. W. F. MacKay appointed by the Great Northern, andpresiding from 1906 to 1946. The Soo Line had the opportunity to appointthe next agent naming Mr. S. C. Joyner who served from 1946 to 1962. Thechoice then went back to the Great Northern who named Mr. W. C. Isely. Mr. Isely served from 1962 till his death on January 16, 1973. The nextchoice is that of the Soo Line.

The depot burned down in 1921. They used six box carsfor offices while the depot was being rebuilt. There were four employeesas well as the depot agent.

When it was rebuilt, a dance was held in the depot to celebrate.

In the old days, the depot floors were wood. Hot waterwas taken from the boilers on the trains and used to scrub the rough floors.

The trains came in every hour of the day. There were lessthan a hundred box cars on each train. There were two passenger cars oneach train. The other two passenger trains ran from Moorhead to Noyes,Minnesota. Passenger trains do not run from Noyes to Moorhead anymore. The trains are bigger now than there were before, but basically the samekind of trains. The trains carried lumber, gas, machinery, and produce.

The farmers would bring cream to be shipped out. Thiswas a rather large business. A lot of transportation was necessary by railbecause the trucking industry hadn't become as big as it is today.

There was only one agent at the depot, but there was alwaysextra help. They had telegraphers and clerks to do the rest of the work.

The depot was remodeled in 1968 and is very nice inside. The Customs and the Immigration offices are in a different building now. The building is white and as you come in the door there is a waiting room. It has a water fountain, chairs and wash rooms.

The Noyes depot has been a source of employment for thecommunity for 67 years. It is a place of busy activity in the town of Noyes. The depot helps keep the small town of Noyes alive.



Borg, Mr. Roy, Pembina, North Dakota, interviewed on February1, 1973

Byrne, W. S., Division Superintendent, Burlington NorthernRailway, interviewed on February 2, 1973

Lapp, Mr. Richard, St. Vincent, Minnesota, interviewedon January 28, 1973

MacKay, Mr. William, Noyes, Minnesota, interviewed on January24, 1973

illiam, Noyes, Minnesota, interviewed on January24, 1973