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 Clearbrook Depot Part 2

Part 2 aired on November 9th, 2016


Clearbrook Depot Part 1 


Thursday, November 19th, 2015

 Common Ground on channel 9

Lakeland Public TV (Bemidji area) is producing two films about the important role the Clearbrook Soo Line railroad and depot played in the development of this geographic area.
Funding for this project was provided through the Minnesota Legacy Amendment.
In May 2015, Common Ground producer Scott Knudson, and his assistant Andrew Dziengel, interviewed several people affiliated with the Clearbrook Soo Line Depot and who will “star” in the two films.
People interviewed were:
Randy Berger:
Randy’s father, Russell Berger, was the Clearbrook Depot Agent between 1961-64 when his family lived in the upper apartment in the Depot. Sadly, Randy passed away this summer. The first film will focus on Randy’s interview.

Judi Engebretson and Linda Holm:

Judi and Linda are co-chairs of the Clearbrook Soo Line Depot Renovation Committee which was organized in 2010. They recruited volunteers, organized events, and other activities to raise money, and have managed all aspects of the renovations.

Stuart Nelson:

Stuart is a former train dispatcher who worked at 16 different depots in Minnesota and the Midwest. Currently, he volunteers as a railroad historian with the Soo Line Historical and Technical Society, writing articles and providing information/photos to interested groups such as the Clearbrook Soo Line Renovation Committee.

Dick and Beulah Richards:

Dick and his mother, Beulah Richards, lived in Clearbrook near the Soo Line railroad. Dick and his wife own Richards Publishing, which publishes weekly newspapers for several local towns, including the Clearbrook-Gonvick Leader Record. Beulah is 96 years old and worked for the post office for many years.

Daniel Stenseng:

Daniel’s father and uncle worked on the Section Crew for the Soo Line Railroad. Dan also worked a short time on the railroad. Currently Dan is Chairman of the Clearwater County Board of Commissioners.

Karroll Walberg:

Karroll worked on the Soo Line railroad as a crane operator and a building foreman beginning in the 1960’s. He and his wife are retired and live in Clearbrook.

To purchase your own DVD contact:

Scott Knudson, Managing Product/Director, LPTV Legacy Productions

email: sknudson@lptv.org or phone: 218-333-3014.


For other information about the films, contact Roz Johnson

email: rjohnson2122@comcast.net or phone: 952-847-0967.

 The depot is now used to house historical items and is open on special occasions.
2015 Update on the Renovated Historic Clearbrook Soo Line Depot
 In 2010, the Clearbrook Soo Line Depot Renovation Committee was organized to spearhead the renovations, raise funds, and provide opportunities for public tours of the building. 

What are the Goals?

*      Restore and preserve the 1910 Clearbrook Soo Line Railroad Depot.

*      Use the depot facilities to educate the public about its past.

*      Develop exhibits and programs that support our local heritage.

 What’s the Plan?

Phase 1 focuses on building restoration and repairs.  In 2011, the roof was re-shingled.  In 2012, the electric work was updated and light fixtures were installed.  In 2013, all windows were replaced. . In 2014-15, the Depot was re-sided using colors similar to the original Soo Line color standards. Doors were replaced and a front deck was built. Some photos and exhibits have been restored and updated.

Phase 2 includes making the Depot more available for school groups and the public. Photos will be digitized and restored and historical exhibits updated.  Educational programs and other events will be held. 

How Can You Help?

Please consider making a donation or volunteering on the Depot Renovation Committee.  Volunteers are needed to help with renovations and repairs, educational activities, tours, fundraising events, and other committee work.  Please send donations to: Clearbrook Depot Renovation Project, P.O. Box 62, Clearbrook, Minnesota, 56634.  For questions or to volunteer, call Judi Engebretson at 218-280-1502.

Thank You!

The Clearbrook Soo Line Depot Restoration Committee thanks the City Council, community, businesses, local organizations, grant funders and individuals who have generously donated money, memorials, products, and in-kind services to help restore the 1910 Clearbrook Depot. A full list of contributors is available at the Depot. Volunteers have helped by soliciting funds and bids from businesses, writing grants, taking photographs, developing educational brochures, exhibits, and exhibit signs, staffing the Depot during open hours, cleaning and organizing rooms, making repairs and conducting countless other tasks. All of these efforts are greatly appreciated.





Bits and Pieces of History

The first depot agent was I. D. Kretser.

February 11th, 1911 the mail service was established on the Soo Line and replaced the stage.

Martin Johnson was the first to purchase a ticket at the depot in 1910 and he also purchased the last ticket in 1959.

Twenty-one people took that last ride. For some it was their first train ride.

Taken from Main Street Now and Then. The history book will be available during the All School Reunion for the price of $10.





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