Round House Of St. Vincent

by

Bobbi Jo Schulte

 

Mr. Ed Krues, a resident of St. Vincent, would walk towork every day. What was this man's job and what made it so significant?

Perhaps this man's job began with the starting of railroads,or you could say, it started with a man's dream. A man's dream of railroadsin the north which developed, and they called this railroad line, The GreatNorthern.

In was James J. Hill's dream. His dream was to put railroadsthrough and through they came. Through to St. Vincent, through to Emerson,and right into Winnipeg the Flyer would go.

The Great Northern owners had big dreams for the railroad.When the road reached St. Vincent, they planned to build over the Red Rivercoming from the West. The Northern Pacific was to meet them on the NorthDakota side. Together, these railroads would build a bridge over the RedRiver.

Among the great plans for the railroad was the inclusionof a round house, to be located at St. Vincent, Minnesota, where the enginescould be repaired.

The men who built this round house made it of wood andiron beams. This was done so that the building wouldn't burn. Fortunately,there were no fires that happened while the railroad operated the roundhouse.

A turning table was included in the round house which wasused to turn the trains around.

Mr. Krues's job would begin when the trains would comein. The trains come in from the east so that the engines would face west.The engine of the train would be left here.

In order to keep the trains running, an employee of therailroad was stationed at the round house. Mr. Krues was this man who hadto keep these engines going. He and the other man, Bill Buckly, would feedthe engines with coal during the night so that the fires wouldn't die outduring this time.

Mr. Bill Gooselaw can remember when he was a child. Heand some other children would ride on the "cow catcher" to theround house. There they would get off and walk back home. They weren't supposedto be doing it, but it sure was fun.

In front of the trains there is a piece of iron that isshaped in a "r" It got its name from the purpose it was to serve,the cow catcher. If the cows were on the track, it would shoo them off.In the process of shooing them off, it would usually break the cows legor injure it in some way.

The Great Northern trains would usually come north fromCrookston and stop at the round house in St. Vincent for a new crew anda new engine. The men of this crew would stay in St. Vincent at differenthomes that would take them in.

Before this time, there was a Great Northern Hotel in St.Vincent. But by the time that the round house was built, this hotel hadbeen torn down all except the kitchen. The residents of St. Vincent calledthis kitchen the "Great Kitchen" because of its size. A few ofthe men, however, would stay there in this kitchen.

The Flyer would go to Winnipeg and then get another freshcrew and come back to St. Vincent. Here the crew that they left would goon and the "Canadian" crew that was on it would stay at St. Vincent.They also traded engines again.

The engines in the round house would be turned around untilit faced the east. In front of the St. Vincent elevator at this time therewas a "y" track. After the engines were faced to the east, theywould be driven on the "y" track and then would go north up toWinnipeg or south to Crookston.

Unfortunately, the Great Northern plans didn't work outas had been planned. The Central Pacific and Great Northern never joinedtogether to build this line over the Red River. Because of this, there wasno more need for the round house. In the year of 1902, the round house ofSt. Vincent was torn down. What could have been a great railroad round houseis no more, and now the Great Northern train goes through St. Vincent withouteven a stop until it reaches Winnipeg.

Bibliography

Gooselaw, Eli. Interview, January 23, 1971raphy

Gooselaw, Eli. Interview, January 23, 1971