Redfield's Fascinating Witness to History: The C&NW Railroad Depot

Redfield's Fascinating Witness to History: The C&NW Railroad Depot Main Photo

25 May 2022

News, Client Feature Article

This article originally appeared on and was written for Redfield South Dakota, by Golden Shovel Agency.

When Redfield’s Chicago and Northwestern Railroad Depot was entered into the National Register of Historic Places, It garnered a lot of interest, because it was the only place in the area, where you could take a walk down memory lane, and look up close at the equipment and preserved structures. Over the years the depot has emerged as a fascinating piece of history, teaching us about one of America's oldest industries, the railroad, its functions, and the importance it carries even today in the country's economy.

The Railroad Metropolis of Spink County: A Witness to Myriad Times

The Depot resonates with a vibrant history. It was from here that many servicemen marched off to the World Wars. It was formally dedicated on October 23, 1914, built in the likeness of the original C&NW Depot in Chicago. Passenger trains serviced this depot until the early 1950s. The Redfield Depot is significant for its contribution to the development of Redfield and Spink County. The depot was known as the railroad metropolis of Spink County, maintaining excellent passenger service until 1961. The present depot features art-carved marble floors and virgin golden oak woodwork. Hosting separate waiting rooms for men and women, a walking tour through the depot takes you through a vestibule,  retiring room, ticket office,  lunchroom, kitchen, baggage room, basement, and a railroad express room. If you are wondering what a “railroad express room” is,  it was the place for freight brought in and out of the area, that could include anything - from chicken and cows to cattle and deer. 

Today, the Depot features several photographs and historical information about the city of Redfield. Family heirlooms and pictures are welcome and added to the historic collection. A gift shop inside the Depot includes memorabilia and model trains, apart from puzzles and pheasant-themed products.

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Sowmya Subramaniam is a Copywriter for Golden Shovel Agency. She is an accomplished copy & content writer/digital content editor, blogger, and social media manager. She is adept at generating story ideas, conceptualization, and providing engaging content. Sowmya is skilled in content management, search engine optimization (SEO), and scripting.