De Smet Depot Museum has many interesting artifacts on display

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

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The De Smet Depot museum is located in the former railroad depot behind the Hazel L. Meyer Memorial Library.

 

Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday until mid-August.

 

The depot is not the same building that is mentioned in one of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. A fire destroyed the original depot in 1905. But, within hours, a railroad car had been set up to serve as a depot until a new one could be built.

 

In 1906, the depot was rebuilt. The Chicago Northwestern Railroad Company used it for many years.

 

At one time there were two passenger trains and at least two freight trains a day going through De Smet.

 

A local banker, S. Neal Meyer, bought the depot building in 1980 and gave it to the city to be used as a museum. Doris Thorson, a former De Smet resident, donated money for the city to refurbish the building.

 

Artifacts were moved from the former museum on Calumet Avenue and, on June 10, 1984, a grand opening for the new museum was held to coincide with the Old Settlers Day celebration.

 

There is now a museum complex, which entails four buildings.

 

The depot itself is on the National Register of Historical Places and houses a variety of local historical artifacts.

 

Donna Palmlund

Staff Writer

The De Smet News

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