Paynesville depot remembered fondly in new book

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 2/10/98.

St. Cloud State College professor and author Bill Morgan has fond early childhood memories of Paynesville and Lake Koronis.

Morgan recently wrote a book, ďSalt Lantern: Traces of an American Family,Ē in which he relates his connection to Paynesville. He also coauthored ďLight from the Hearth: Central Minnesota Pioneers and Early Architecture.Ē

By studying the architecture and the artifacts of his family, Morgan, a Pipestone native, tells the stories of his ancestorís lives.

In the segment entitled ďMy Fatherís Story,Ē Morgan tells of his parentís marriage at his grandparentsí home in the summer of 1910. Following the wedding ceremony, the couple took the midnight train from Pipestone, arriving at dawn in Paynesville. The newlyweds spent the following month honey-mooning at Lake Koronis.

The book features a photograph of the Paynesville depot near Lake Koronis, which has become a family icon. Morgan writes: ďWill and Mabel spent their honeymoon at a resort on Lake Koronis, an event recorded in a photograph album that sat on our coffee table when I was a child. The little wooden depot in Paynesville, where the dusty travelers stepped off the train, is a familiar icon from this album.

ďMany of the family stories that I grew up hearing revolved around early automobiles and fishing trips. During the 1920s the family made annual fishing trips to either Lake Koronis or Leech Lake.Ē


The Minneapolis and Pacific (M&P) Railway came to Paynesville across the old diamond at Crystal on to Hamel and Rockford and over the Crow River.

Eighty-two miles west from Minneapolis is Paynesville, a lake country town. Platted in 1887, the M&P arrived in 1886 and built the 24 by 64-foot single story depot which was expanded in 1902, 1908, and 1911 to a final dimension of 24 by 127 feet.

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