Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Red River. Between Saint Paul - Minneapolis - Fargo - Moorhead - Grand Forks. The Great Northern Railway.

Illustration: PINTEREST

Postcard picture of Great Northern Railway Station, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Date: 1912.
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The following Text is from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia.

The Great Northern Railway was built in stages, slowly, to create profitable Railway Lines, before extending the Railroad further into the undeveloped Western Territories. 

In a series of the earliest public relations campaigns, contests were held to promote interest in The Railroad and the Ranch Lands along its route. Fred J. Adams used promotional incentives such as feed and seed donations to farmers getting started along the Line. Contests were all-inclusive, from largest farm animals to largest Freight Car-Load capacity and were promoted heavily to immigrants and newcomers from The East.

The earliest predecessor Railroad, to the Great Northern Railway, was the Saint Paul and Pacific Railroad, a bankrupt Railroad with a small amount of Track in The State of Minnesota.

James Jerome Hill convinced John S. Kennedy (a New York banker), Norman Kittson (Hill's friend and a wealthy fur trader), Donald Smith (an executive with Canada's Hudson's Bay Company), George Stephen (Smith's cousin and president of The Bank of Montreal), and others, to invest
$5.5 million in purchasing the Railroad]

On 13 March 1878, the Railroad's creditors formally signed an agreement transferring their Bonds and control of the Railroad to Hill's investment group. On 18 September 1889, Hill changed the name of The Minneapolis and Saint Cloud Railway (a Railroad which existed primarily on paper, but which held very extensive Land Grants throughout The Midwest and Pacific Northwest) to The Great Northern Railway. On 1 February 1890, he transferred ownership of the Saint Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway, Montana Central Railway, and other Rail Systems he owned, to The Great Northern Railway.

The Great Northern Railway had Branches that ran North to the Canada–US border in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana. It also had Branches that ran to Superior, Wisconsin, and Butte, Montana, connecting with the iron mining fields of Minnesota and copper mines of Montana. 

In 1898, Hill purchased control of large parts of The Messabe Range iron mining district in Minnesota, along with its Rail Lines. The Great Northern Railway began large-scale shipment of ore to the steel mills of the Mid-West. At its height, The Great Northern Railroad operated over 8,000 miles.

The Logo of The Railroad, a Rocky Mountain goat, was based on a goat that William Kenney, one of The Railroad's Presidents, had used to haul newspapers as a boy.

The Railroad’s best known Engineer was John Frank Stevens, who served from 1889 to 1903. Stevens was acclaimed for his 1889 exploration of Marias Pass in Montana, and determined its practicability for a Railroad.

Stevens was an efficient administrator with remarkable technical skills and imagination. He discovered Stevens Pass through The Cascade Mountains, set Railroad construction standards in The Mesabi Range of Northern Minnesota, and supervised construction of The Oregon Trunk Line. He then became The Chief Engineer of The Panama Canal.

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