|Old railroad depot takes a road trip|
|Friday, 15 March 2013 15:39|
Fifty years ago it was sold to rancher Shirley Miller, who used it for many years as a storage building. Now, Miller has given the building back to a Fort Pierre museum with the proviso that it be fixed up and used as a museum, with the additional proviso that no money be charged to the museum's visitors. Friday, the movers hauled the 160 foot long building as far as Faith, where it will be parked over the weekend. Gary Grittner says, "I think it's important for a couple of reasons. One things is that it's one of the older structures in Fort Pierre. And so it would have historic significance back in town. And of course the other thing that's really important if the importance of the railroad." Moving a large building like this one, which is more than one hundred feet long, involves a rare skill in the people doing the actual moving. Turning a corner can be a touchy process, and it requires manual steering of the rear dollies under the building.Getting the building over the curbs involves blocking up the tires to prevent impact. As the building moved into the Faith Friday, it became an event for the town's residents. Glen Haines says, "I think it's quite amazing. I remember when Shirley Miller moved it from Fort Pierre out there because I was born and raised out in that country. And I was really good friends with the Millers. It was awesome when they did it. And now it's really something for it to go back to where it belongs." The rest of the journey from Faith to Fort Pierre, which begins on Monday, will probably take about two days. One of the most time consuming aspects of the trip is dealing with the power and telephone lines that cross the route the building has to take. The local utilities are taking care of that of course, but it all costs money. It's a good investment, say the Fort Pierre residents who believe that the more than one hundred year old building will increase civic pride and preserve history.
Al Van Zee