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Willmar’s rich railroad history explored during 2021 Rail Road Days

Last hosted in 1997, the Kandiyohi County Historical Society hosted Willmar Rail Road Days after a 24-year hiatus.

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Getting his homemade steam tractor ready, Stephan Eckman puts a log on the fire Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, as he brings the water up to operating temperature during Willmar Railroad Days. Tim Speier / West Central Tribune
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WILLMAR — Last hosted in 1997, the Kandiyohi County Historical Society hosted Willmar Rail Road Days on Saturday and Sunday, bringing in train enthusiasts of all ages from around the state.

The 2021 event highlighted Willmar’s rich railroad history. There was a railroad display made of Legos that took around five hours to build; a silent auction to raise funds for the historical society; along with a hobo camp cooking up food under the old oak tree outside of the Sperry House on the grounds of the historical society.

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The Kandiyohi County Historical Society hosted Willmar Railroad Days on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 18 and 19, 2021, with events at Willmar Community Center, the Willmar Veterans of Foreign Wars and the historical society grounds. Tim Speier / West Central Tribune

There was also a scale model of the Willmar rail line and a scale recreation of the Empire Builder.

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Events were also held at the Willmar Community Center and the Willmar Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Related Topics: HISTORYWILLMARMINNESOTA
Tim Speier joined the Brainerd Dispatch in October 2021, covering Public Safety.
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