End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum
The Museum Today
The preservation of something which is changing and often, in these areas, disappearing is the purpose of the End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum.
The railroads were the first great achievement in transportation of the machine age. This achievement led to the expansion and growth of the West. It is this story, as well as the story of the area, which we are trying to tell.
A model railroad display, in HO scale, is one of the highlights of the museum. This display is an authentic reproduction of the Currie railroad yards as they were around the Turn of the Century. The layout features scratch-built locomotives and structures, complete landscaping, a full wrap-around mural, complete sound effects and more.
Hear the old steam locomotive puff and chug throughout the countryside. Hear the puffing and chugging accented by the steam whistle, bell and the hiss of steam. You will think that time has been turned back.
The Hilfers train and yard equipment, built a number of years ago by the late Henry Hilfers, has a small depot, turntable, coal bunker, water tower and engine with several cars constructed for giving rides.
District Number One, the Sunrise School, was moved to End-O-Line Park and restored by the Murray County Historical Society. The embossed tin ceilings and walls, vertical wainscoting, recitation bench and many blackboards are typical, but the triangular sunrise worked into the front and back of the schoolhouse are unique. The little one-room school with tin dinner pails, water cooler, wash basin, old world maps, bell tower and rope, ink wells and cloakrooms, will bring back fond memories to share with children.
End-O-Line Park’s section house, originally located in Comfrey, MN, was built by Chicago and Northwestern for a section foreman and his family. A saltbox structure familiar to many, our house has been restored to the early 1900 style.
The Pioneer General Store was built and operated by Neil and Archibald Currie in 1872. A typical settlement general store, it included a post office and bank in its earliest years. Dakota Indians from nearby Lake Shetek occasionally traded at the store—so were news, gossip and eggs. Now, furnished and with shelves stocked, it brings back memories and comments of "I remember when . . ."
Heading north on the bike trail from End-O-Line Park you observe farm crops up close, tall corn, soybeans thick with pods and new mown alfalfa perfumes the air. Then Lake Shetek named by the Dakota (means Lake Pelican) meanders north around the headwaters of the Des Moines River at the Currie Dam. Here kingfishers dive for minnows and families picnic while watching their fishing poles. Rest spots, scenic overlooks, the Shetek Monument, Smith Lake, wildflowers, birds and animals enhance the bike trail and when you return to End-O-Line Park, a tour and indoor/outdoor fun for the whole family can be enjoyed. The bike trail is approximately six miles of hard surface, easy-rolling hills.
A hidden gem. If you've got kids or love trains it's worth the trip. The guides are well informed and will stretch out a tour as long as you want to ask questions. A lot of unique and well-researched exhibits. They often have fun activities like making paper train lanterns and rising the turn table. A fantastic step back in time that includes trains, tickets offices, a school house, a church, courthouse, general store and more. Plus, the gift shop is very reasonable.
Great place for the kids. Tour guides were polite, and lots of fun stuff to look at. Very well kept. Surprisingly large for such a small community, you can tell there is a lot of pride there. An easy bike ride from the state park as well.
We rode our bikes her from the state park. Nice distance for the family. Kids loved running around and exploring. They especially loved the one room schoolhouse and train playset.
Really nicely done museum. Well with worth the time to stop.
I visited this park after hours, so I'm not sure if there is a museum, inside train exhibit, or enclosed area. The park was open to the public and free to walk around. For being such a small park, I was surprised at the amount of trains outside. I would recommend swinging by, especially if you are headed to the nearby state park.