A Special Issue of the Mid-Continent Railway Gazette
Volume 36, Number 4, December 2003

Sauk County Iron Mining Gazette cover

Front cover of the Sauk County Iron Mining special edition Mid-Continent Railway Gazette

Ride the train at North Freedom and you will likely hear the conductor impart a few historical facts about the construction of our rail line in 1903 by the Chicago & North Western Railway. The North Western’s purpose was to haul iron ore by rail from the newly constructed mines located at points along the route to Chicago area smelters.

sample page

Sample pages contained with the Sauk County Iron Mining special issue Gazette

Today’s train rides give us the opportunity to provide our visitors with a brief experience of an enterprise that held such a great promise for the economic development of this area. The tavern at our La Rue station is a rare original structure that represents those built around the various operations. With the publication of this special edition of our members’ magazine, the era of the iron mines in Sauk County take on new life through the text and the many photos, maps, and graphs contained within its pages.

Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the rail line’s completion, and our own 40th anniversary of continuous passenger service along these same tracks, the publication of this edition of the Mid-Continent Railway Gazette was also intended to honor Don Ginter, Mid-Continent member and volunteer curator. His personal commitment for doing the research into the history of the mines became the basis of those historical talks provided over the years by our train crews and now this issue of the magazine.

historic photo of iron mine

The issue features many historical photographs of area mining facilities.

Ginter’s work has been supplemented by contributions from other members and fellow historians, all compiled into an expanded and beautiful edition of the Gazette by Paul Swanson, volunteer editor and member. A grant from the Sauk County Arts, Humanities and Historic Preservation Committee helped to cover the increased cost of producing our first special edition Gazette, aimed at enhancing Mid-Continent’s educational purpose.

sample page with map

Many diagrams and maps compliment the text to aid in understanding the area’s brief but busy mining history.

Copies are still available and may be purchased in our gift shop during your next visit to our North Freedom museum or by calling 800-930-1385. Your purchase of the Sauk County Iron Mining edition of the Mid-Continent Railway Gazette will help to fund Mid-Continent’s continuing preservation efforts.

Don’t miss out on any further issues by becoming a museum member! A subscription to the Mid-Continent Railway Gazette is one of numerous benefits of membership to the Mid-Continent Railway Historical Society.

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