Wisconsin Fish Commission #2

Coach, Pullman Co., Lot 4015, Plan 2642, 1913

Badger #2, fully restored in 2009.

Badger #2, fully restored in 2009.

Newly constructed fish tanks, 2009.

Newly constructed fish tanks, 2009.

#104 at North Freedom, July 7, 1976. Ron Jones photo, MCRM collection

#104 at North Freedom, July 7, 1976. Ron Jones photo, MCRM collection

#104's interior at Mid-Continent, no date. MCRM collection

#104’s interior at Mid-Continent, no date. MCRM collection

#104 at North Freedom, 1963.

#104 at North Freedom, 1963.

#104 in service at Hillsboro, WI, May, 1962.  Jim Neubauer photo

#104 in service at Hillsboro, WI, May, 1962. Jim Neubauer photo

Fish Car #104 while owned by W. Knapp contractors; no date or other data; Paul Swanson collection.

Fish Car #104 while owned by W. Knapp contractors; no date or other data; Paul Swanson collection.

Badger 2, loading for a Fish Fry at Antigo, WIsconsin, 1921. A.J. Kingsbury photo, MCRM collection. December, 1978 Gazette.

Badger 2, loading for a Fish Fry at Antigo, WIsconsin, 1921. A.J. Kingsbury photo, MCRM collection. December, 1978 Gazette.

Historic Photo Galleries of Badger #2
Badger #2 with DNR (1912-1945)
Badger #2 with W.A. Knapp (1945-1960)
Badger #2 with Mid-Continent (1960-2008)
Before restoration (2006)

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The Pullman Company built this wooden car for the Wisconsin Fish Commission as “Badger #2” in September, 1913. It was designed with a steel underframe and fitted with steel tanks to carry fish to remote locations around the state to restock streams and rivers. The car would be stopped on a bridge and the tanks emptied into the water below.

At an unknown date, the car was sold to equipment dealer W.H. Knapp and renumbered #104.

In 1960, the car was the very first to be purchased by Mid-Continent. It was moved to Hillsboro, Wisconsin in 1962 to carry passengers for the first operating season, and then on to North Freedom in 1963.

#104 (or simply the “Fish Car”), as it is known to museum members, served as a regular coach in service to haul passengers on the museum’s line for many years, wearing several colorful paint schemes along the way. It was last used during Snow Train 1985.

A $950,000 full restoration to bring the car back to its as-built configuration complete with fish storage tanks was completed in 2008. The restoration is made possible by a grant from the Jeffris Family Foundation of Janesville, Wisconsin, and matching funds from hundreds of contributors.

Our sincerest thanks to all the individuals and foundations whose generous donations helped Mid-Continent match the $475,000 Jeffris Family Foundation Challenge Grant.

  • Sponsoring the Car Body: William Reinicker
  • Sponsoring the Observation Room: Fern Bloohm in memory of L. O. “Ozzie” Bloohm
  • Sponsoring the Fish Tank Room: Charles Gelatt
  • Sponsoring the Salon: Jeffrey B. Bloohm
  • Sponsoring the Kitchen: The 1772 Foundation
  • Sponsoring the Vestibules: Georgina & Thomas Russo, Julia & David Uihlein
  • Sponsoring the Trucks: The Hunt Memorial Trust
  • Sponsoring the Berths: Richard Levis, Kalmbach Publishing Company
  • Sponsoring the Fish Tanks: Janet Anderson, Janet Anderson in memory of August & Anna Anderson, Howard & Asta Blanchar, Gandy Dancer Festival, William Parker, Myra Reilly, Roman Vetter, The Wagner Foundation, The WISE Division of the NMRA.

Badger #2 Partners
Special thanks to all those who have and continue to contribute to the success of the Badger #2 Fish Car restoration.

  • Avalon Rail, Inc.
  • Fulkerstone Fine Arts, LLC
  • The Jeffris Family Foundation
  • McCutcheon Crane Lifts
  • Midwest Heavy Haul
  • Oakbrook Esser Studios
  • Tom Nedobeck
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • Kailuna Enterprises
  • Lucid Glass Works