DSS&A Sleeping Car DULUTH Fund Drive Begins

The Car:

Duluth South Shore & Atlantic sleeping car “DULUTH” is one of a series of five 10-section sleeping cars built by The Barney & Smith Car Company of Dayton, Ohio in 1902.  The car is of all wood construction, with varnished mahogany interior, fine marquetry throughout, stained glass windows and green plush upholstery. In addition to the sleeping section the car features a stateroom, a smoking room as well as men and women lavatories. The car was used on the DSS&A’s North Country Mail (between Duluth, MN and Sault Ste. Marie) and remained in active service until 1934. The car left the DSS&A in December 1934 when it was sold to a Michigan resident and hauled to the shores of Lake Superior where it has been used as a summer cottage for the past 80 years.


The current owners recognizing the significance and the fine condition of the car approached Mid-Continent about donating the DULUTH to the museum. The MCRM Restoration Department inspected the car and determined it to be an outstanding addition to Mid-Continent’s Collection of wooden cars. The MCRHS Collection Committee recommended to accept the donation of the DULUTH and the Board of Directors accepted the recommendation at the December 12, 2015 meeting.

DULUTH diagram

DSS&A “DULUTH” car diagram


The immediate goal is to raise $35,000 for moving this remarkable car to North Freedom in the summer of 2016. Once at North Freedom, the car will be placed on trucks and initial restoration efforts will be focused on acquiring the appropriate 6-wheel trucks for the car, installing draft gear and steps on the car. A comprehensive restoration plan will be developed and fundraising will continue with restoration work proceeding in a staged manner. Ultimately, the restored car will provide Mid-Continent with a very unique and rare passenger car that can be used on special occasions, placed on display or included in Mid-Continent’s Wooden Car Tours events.


Help Mid-Continent bring this rare and unique car to Mid-Continent by making a donation. We need your help to raise the $35,000 by May 15, 2016. Please consider making a donation to the DSS&A sleeper DULUTH Fund and help bring the DULUTH sleeping car to its new home.

UPDATE May 5, 2016:

Thanks to the support of donors like you, we have successfully raised the funds necessary to bring the DULUTH to Mid-Continent Railway Museum. Preparations are presently underway to move the DULUTH to its new home.

Despite the car’s overall excellent condition, some restoration work will still be necessary. For this reason, donations toward the DSS&A sleeper DULUTH Fund continue to be accepted.


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Make your donation via mail using our printable donation form or donate online using the form on our Donation page. Be sure to write in “DSS&A sleeper DULUTH Fund” on both the printed and online forms. Credit/debit card donations can be accepted by phone at 608-522-4261 or 800-930-1385 during museum office hours. All donations are tax-deductible.

Last updated May 5, 2016

DULUTH photo collage

Updated: Help Mid-Continent Obtain Critical Parts for the Cazenovia Southern No. 2 and other Museum Restoration Projects

Mid-Continent has an important opportunity to salvage items from derelict railcars in Minnesota that can be used to improve Mid-Continent’s collection

Mineral Point & Northern #202 at North Freedom, 1999; Jeff Haertlein photo

Cazenovia Southern #2 (Mineral Point & Northern #202) at North Freedom, 1999; Jeff Haertlein photo


Raise $10,000 to cover the costs of buying and shipping railcar parts for use in future Mid-Continent restorations, thereby saving the costly need to reproduce them from scratch

Succeed in raising the funds by September 30, 2014

Apply any excess funds raised toward restoration of Cazenovia Southern No. 2, a locally significant passenger car

Why Your Help is Needed

Within the Mid-Continent Railway Museum collection of equipment we arguably have one of the better collections in the country for wooden passenger cars. Each wooden passenger car has its own significance and importance to the collection. One particular car stands out as being the most historically significant car to Mid-Continent due to it meeting all of the criteria for our collection pieces AND it operated on a railroad in Sauk County, less than 25 miles away from North Freedom. This car is the Cazenovia Southern combine (ex-Mineral Point & Northern).

Read more about Cazenovia Southern No. 2 (ex-Mineral Point & Northern) by visiting it’s listing on our Equipment Roster page.

The car arrived at North Freedom as a car body only (no trucks, draft gear, platforms, etc.) on July 14, 1999. The car is largely unknown due to the fact that it is sitting under a tarp next to the freight house and northeast of the MCRM office. Due to the importance and significance of this car it is surely deserving to be restored to operating condition. In order to do this the car will have to wait its turn to be routed through the MCRM Car Shop, not to mention raise the necessary funds for restoring the car. While it will be a number of years before the Restoration Department can tackle this restoration project there is a call for help RIGHT NOW that will position the car to be completely restored in the future.

Due to the fact that the car is a body only we are desperately in need of the appropriate passenger car trucks, draft gear, brake equipment and related iron parts to restore this car. If Mid-Continent had to reproduce these items it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. We’d certainly prefer to not do this so we have been constantly been looking for opportunities to acquire the necessary parts from another car.

With the recent passing of Don Lind (owner of the Minnesota & Western RR, Annandale, Minnesota) it came to our attention that his collection of rolling stock was up for sale. Within the collection there were three heavily deteriorated passenger cars that could be sources for the parts we are in need of. In late April Mid-Continent members toured the site and confirmed that the necessary and appropriate parts for the Cazenovia Southern combine are available. Since then a price has been agreed to with the seller and a plan to remove, load and transport the parts from Annandale, Minn. to North Freedom has been initiated.

 Update 10/21/2014: Mission Accomplished!

Our mission has been accomplished with the generosity of donors and the hard work of Mid-Continent Railway Museum volunteers. The campaign to salvage items for use on the Cazenovia Southern coach-baggage car and other equipment has been a great success! The goal of $10,000 was reached and exceeded, totaling $10,250 with the help of 18 contributors.


  • Becker, Peter
  • Bloohm, Jeff
  • Buhrmaster, William
  • Busse, Jim
  • Dipping, Richard
  • Dorner, Tom
  • Drifke, Lawrence
  • Harrington, Mike
  • Jax, John
  • Kloss, Ronald
  • Maginniss, Leigh
  • Mathias, Stuart
  • Mennenga, Jerry
  • Moore, Michael
  • Polaske, Robert
  • Theroux, Matthew
  • Wartinbee, Ron
  • Wolfmeyer, Pamela


  • Buhrmaster, William
  • Busse, Jim
  • Dipping, Richard
  • Ham, Chuck
  • Lichter, Skip
  • Merzdorf, Randy
  • Miller, B G
  • Potthast, Richard
  • Saulvola, Dean
  • Schmidt, Floyd
  • Theroux, Matt
  • Wantz, Dave

In terms of volunteers, Dave Wantz’s help was very significant as he made some 14 trips to the Annandale, MN site to assist with site preparations and parts removal. Dave was assisted many times by Minnesota resident and Mid-Continent member Chuck Ham. Racking up the most miles driven to help on the effort was Richard Potthast who made five trips to the Annandale site. Driving over 3,000 miles (total) as he hauled parts back to Mid-Continent.

The trucks and car parts purchased from the Minnesota & Western site are now safely and neatly stored away on the MCRM property. From all aspects, this effort has been a success and a tremendous boost to the eventual restoration of the Cazenovia Southern car.

The car must still wait in line for a turn in the Car Shop and further fundraising will be needed to pay for additional materials to complete the project but this is crucial first step. The quick actions of museum leaders, the generosity of donors, and the dedication of volunteers all allowed Mid-Continent Railway Museum to seize this opportunity and will pay dividends many times over when restoration of Cazenovia Southern No. 2 begins in earnest.

If you wish to contribute toward the future restoration of Cazenovia Southern No. 2, please visit the donation page and write “Cazenovia Southern #2” on your check’s memo line or on the printable donation form. Alternatively, consider donating to the broader “Wood Car Restoration Fund” to help speed along current restoration projects in the most efficient manner possible.

collapsed passenger railcar with excavator

Collapsed railcar at former Minnesota & Western site being dismantled for parts.

volunteer applying linseed oil to car trucks

Volunteer Richard Dipping applies linseed oil to protect the 7-ft (wheelbase) truck salvaged from Wisconsin Central No. 331, a car formerly in the Minnesota & Western collection. These trucks will ultimately end up underneath Milwaukee Lake Shore & Western No. 63, replacing the inaccurately sized trucks currently used.

car trucks being carried by forklift

One of the two newly acquired 8-ft trucks from the Minnesota & Western site is carried into storage at Mid-Continent Railway Museum. This item will be repaired and put to use under Cazenovia Southern No. 2 when restoration of that car is completed. No. 2 did not have it’s own trucks when it was donated to Mid-Continent Railway Museum in 1999.

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