Pioneer Park Historical Complex asks community for help restoring trainSubmitted: 10/09/2019
Peter Dubois
Peter Dubois

Pioneer Park Historical Complex asks community for help restoring train
RHINELANDER - The Pioneer Park Historical Complex dedicates itself to preserving Rhinelander's history.

Most recently, those efforts have been focused on restoring a five spot narrow gauge locomotive that sits in the park. 

"We're inviting community members who love the museum and Rhinelander's history to come help slap a coat of primer on it," said director of the historical complex Kerry Bloedorn.

Bloedorn wants to make the train at the Pioneer Park Historical Complex look like it did when it hauled lumber to and from Rhinelander almost 100 years ago.

"It had spent a lot of time in Rhinelander hauling logs for the Thunder Lake Lumber Company," said Bloedorn. "When that company shut down in the '40's it was sent to a mine in Chihuahua Mexico where it hauled ore. They beat the tar out of this train…"

Volunteer Dave Kohler drove more than forty minutes to help paint the train Wednesday.

He says preserving this piece of history is important for the entire Rhinelander community.

"It's part of Rhinelander," said Kohler. "Without the railroads coming here and the logging, it'd probably still be called Pelican Rapids and be a small little town."

A small town with a big connection to its past.

A connection that brings feelings of pride.

Dave Kohler says he'll be proud to get the job done.

"[I'll feel] accomplishment that I helped preserve a little bit of history. That I didn't let this one go to the scrapyard. This has to be saved," said Kohler.

Bloedorn says he will supply all the equipment for anyone who wants to volunteer Thursday afternoon.

Just remember to wear clothes you don't mind getting paint on.

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