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Fox Lake Historical Museum (Fox Lake Railroad Depot, Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railway Depot)

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1884; 1919 addition. 211 Cordelia St.

The former Fox Lake depot, now a museum, is a typical small wooden station of the late nineteenth century. It began as a rectangular folk Victorian structure with a projecting front bay, ornamented with decorative trusses and jigsaw-cut brackets. In 1919, the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railway expanded the depot on the north and east and added a south-facing porte-cochere, supported on Doric columns, to shelter passengers arriving by automobile. The porte-cochere and its exposed wooden rafters with jigsaw-cut tails reflect the Craftsman style, which was then in vogue.

At railroad depots, dispatchers coordinated train movements, and clerks sold tickets and handled passengers and freight. The dispatcher sat in the bay window, where he watched for approaching trains and telegraphed his counterparts at other stations to apprise them of each train’s whereabouts. Engine crews could not be reached by telegraph, so when the agent received a telegraph order for a certain crew, he would write it down and hold it aloft on a stick; the crew would snag it as the train rumbled by. This depot was the hub for the village of Fox Lake, the oldest settlement in Dodge County. The depot linked the local stockyards, grain elevators, and canning company to distant markets, and it welcomed visitors to the summer cottages around the lake.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "Fox Lake Historical Museum (Fox Lake Railroad Depot, Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railway Depot)", [Fox Lake, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 239-240.

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