Starbuck Depot Society
In June 1986, thirty-seven community members met at the Starbuck Depot to consider the future of the depot building that had been abandoned by the Northern Pacific/Burlington Railroad Company in 1982 after 100 years of rail service. After considerable discussion, the group consensus was that repair and shingling of the roof had to have top priority in any restoration plans. Other discussion centered on the idea of moving the depot building closer to Highway #29 and turning it 90 degrees for possible use as an information center with public restrooms. Officers elected at this first meeting were: Dorie Pederson, president; Bruce Bastin, vice president; and Lorie Billehus, secretary/treasurer.
The Starbuck Study Club, in search of a community project at the time, adopted the Depot Project and promptly donated $4,000 for the roof repair and shingling. This made it possible for restoration to begin in 1987. A host of volunteers soon had the roof back in top condition, and over the next several years, they completed many other phases of the monumental Depot Square project.
The museum continued to expand and new volunteers donated their time and money to the depot. The original group has been renewed with new members that are also highly dedicated to preserving the town's history.
The Starbuck Depot Society is an entirely volunteer run organization. Our goal is to better the community and preserve our community's history at the Depot. If this sounds interesting to you, we encourage you to get involved in which ever capacity you can. We appreciate your help in all forms, including low-commitment assistance, donation of time, and finances.
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A great deal of credit for the Depot Square project must be given to Dorie Pederson who served as its president and inspirational leader from 1986 until her untimely death in 1995. Much of her interest in railroads and depots had stemmed from the fact that her father was a railroad employee in Minneapolis. Her enthusiasm and determination helped to inspire community volunteers and monetary contributors to complete the many phases of this huge undertaking.
Gladys Ness Brang graduated from Starbuck High School in 1920. In retirement, she moved back to Starbuck in 1990. By that time, the depot restoration was well underway, and she enthusiastically joined the group and supported it until her death in 1998. We thank the Gladys Ness Brang Foundation for their generous support of Depot projects.
Text from Arne Pederson's Handbook of Starbuck Depot Society