Mid-Continent’s North Freedom depot has been part of the museum’s early 20th century atmosphere since the mid-1960s.
Paul Swanson photo.

The depot under flood waters on June 10, 2008. The building sustained severe damage—by far the worst in its 114-year history.
Jim Connor photo.

The museum’s collection of vintage wooden railroad equipment is considered a national treasure.
MCRM photo.

Mid-Continent has brought early 20th century railroading to life for the public for nearly 50 years at North Freedom.
MCRM photo.

Mid-Continent Receives TRAINS Magazine Grant Award.

The Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, Wisconsin, is Trains magazine’s 2008 Preservation Award winner and the recipient of a $10,000 grant, the magazine and the museum jointly announced today.

The museum suffered extensive damage when the Baraboo River inundated its property at the height of the June 2008 Midwest flooding. The museum’s two web cams made it possible for anyone visiting their web site on June 9th to witness virtually first-hand the flood water’s rapid rise and pervasive reach.

The magazine suspended its annual preservation award competition because of the compelling need to support Mid-Continent.

“Mid-Continent is one of the oldest and most respected railway preservation centers in North America,” said Trains Editor Jim Wrinn. “At this time of crisis, it is important for us to bolster not only our neighbor, but also a national treasure for its stewardship of wood cars and for its authentic recreation of an early 20th century steam-powered branch line railroad.”

“We are certainly honored,” said Jeff Bloohm, the museum’s president, upon receiving news of the award. “There’s really not an adequate way to express our gratitude to Trains for taking this step. The prestige of the award and the surprising way in which it has been offered to Mid-Continent is personally humbling. But I think it speaks well of how others view the achievements of our many members and volunteers over the years.”

Mid-Continent will celebrate its 50th anniversary in May 2009 and museum management confirms that they will have cause for celebration when they open that month for another summer season.

The museum’s web site (www.midcontinent.org) continues to be a valuable resource for monitoring their recovery process and viewing archived images of the recent flooding..