Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The U.P. of Michigan - Duluth RR Museum and Bayfield Maritime Museum

We continued our exploration of northern Minnesota and Rick was looking forward to touring the Duluth Railroad Museum in the Duluth Depot. The museum has a nice collection of equipment that was used in the days of mining. Rick LOVED this M#, #227 which was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works. This engine is huge and could actually haul 115 cars at one time.

The Museum has a number of different engines, including this tank engine that carries its water in a tank located on the boiler. All of the displays are located in the old station area of the depot, which is a great setting for these historic engines.

Rick is ready to be the engineer! This is the cab of the M3 seen above and is it huge! He was very impressed with all the valves and complexity that faced the engineer. Makes our motorhome look a bit easier to run -- plus, Orinda does not have to shovel coal while we drive!

Duluth is snow country for sure and here is a prime weapon in the snow wars -- the steam powered, rotary plow. This was a revolutionary tool in the later 1800's and must have been a very impressive sight clearing the rails.

The museum also featured common items found in the Duluth area in the golden age of rail; which included this old car which was found on the streets of the city and perhaps bringing folks to the train depot.

Our next stop was in Bayfield, WI which is a small town near the Apostle Islands, just east of Duluth. We had a nice lunch here and noticed this small museum focused on Bayfield maritime events. As you can see, the rain and fog made an indoor event a good idea!

This prop and old ship frame are the remains of an old fishing ship that was abandoned in the Bayfield area. If was interesting to examine how boats where built in the early 1900s.

Here are some commercial fishing boats in Bayfield that are not in use. Notice how enclosed these vessels area -- Lake Superior is a very COLD lake (average temperature is only 40 degrees or so) and the closed boats are required for protection. Commercial fishing is down quite a bit, although some folks are still engaged in the industry here.

We had a great time (although a bit wet) in the Duluth and northern Wisconsin area as we traveled east in the upper peninsula area.