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there never seemed to be enough cars available for loading all the wood and grain.
In a Buffalo Journal article on
December 14, 1892, the village of Maple Lake was described as follows:
“The village is very attractive, the streets are filled with men and teams from morning until night and everyone has his hands full, the merchants especially. The reason for such activity is that Maple Lake is doing an immense business in wood, grain, and stock. The railroad shipments amount to a train load every day. Even on Sunday last the Soo people took out a train load of wood and wheat. The two elevators are run to their utmost capacity, taking in 2,000 bushels of wheat daily. Tim Sullivan, our popular butcher, ships a car load of cattle, hogs and sheep nearly every day. J. B. Roehrenbach received a car load of goods last week. J. S. LeBrun is unloading a car load today and Ed Scanlon and Joseph Kevany are each expecting a car load of full goods in a few days.
The woods in every direction are full of choppers and Maple wood is being manufactured by the wholesale. Not less than 35,000 cords will be the output this season.”
Besides being used for shipping, the train was a major factor in transportation of people. Initially, the schedule ran one passenger train eastbound in the morning and one train westbound in the evening. But as travel increased the railroad added two extra passenger trains by July of 1895. In June of 1900 a passenger could board a train eastbound at 7:22 a. m. or 4:15 p. m. The train would arrive in Maple Lake from the Twin Cities at 10:42 a. m. or 8:24 p. m. and then continue on its western route.
The Soo Line would also arrange for special trains with reduced excursion rates for the town’s people. As an example passenger cars would be provided for a trip to the Minnesota State Fair, or dances in other towns, or other special entertainments. A Buffalo Journal story about one
of these trips was reported on July 16,