Monticello Railroad History through the Years
1886-August 12, Railroad surveyors have nearly reached Monticello on the way to Madison
1887-Both Illinois Central and Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroads came to Monticello.
1887-A good ice house would be a good investment. The crop is handy and the railroads and the village people need a supply of ice.
1887-The two headings of the Illinois Central came together at the Stewart tunnel on December 1.
1888-April-As a result of last year's drought, the CM and St. Paul company has brought in 63 loads of baled hay, 24 cars of corn and 12 cars of oats. The IC brought in 11 cars of hay, 6 cars of corn, 12 cars of oats. The price of hay was $11 per ton, corn 50 cents per bushel, and oats 34 cents per bushel.
1888-The new road from the village to the depot has been in terrible condition for 2 weeks. In many places the ruts are so deep that the axles of the wagons drag on the ground.
1888-June. Work on the road from the village to the depot has been done. It will be graded and covered with stone and cinders provided by the St. Paul Railroad.
1888-Side track on the I. C. at the Woolen Mill is completed. The weavers are working night and day and the output reaches over 2000 yards of flannel a day.
1888-Both railroads built stockyards.
1888-Western Union Telegraph Company established an office at the St. Paul depot.
1888-A sidewalk to the depot is a pressing need of the hour. Everyone would appreciate it except the bus man.
1888-Milo Barney has moved his merchandise into his new warehouse near the depot. Baled hay, clover and timothy seed, plus beef by the quarter constitute the main articles.
1888-Tuesday was a big cheese day for both railroad companies, reaching 30,000 pounds, about equally divided between the two roads. ***See note #1 at end
1888-Stone storage cellars were built along both railroads for cheese. ***See note #2 at end
1888-I.C. sold 30 tickets to Monroe on Saturday, November 28. This made a total of 130 tickets sold during the week.
1915-Fire destroyed the cheese cellar at the Illinois yard with $4000 worth of cheese stored by Ed Wittwer and brother.
1972-The Milwaukee Road officially abandoned the New Glarus Branch consisting of 22.78 miles of track.
1974-Sugar River State Trail in Eastern Green County was officially dedicated as a state trail September 28
1980, Dec. 29. The Illinois Central hands over ownership to the State of Wisconsin.
1981-Jan. 30 ICG locomotive #8022 pulled into Wallace Yard in Freeport with 35 cars in tow bringing to an end 93 years of proud service on the very northern end of the Illinois Cental's Freedom Trains.
1981-February 4, The first Chicago Madison & Northern train arrives in Madison. ***See note #3 at end.
1998-April-Track removal contract was signed to remove rails from Freeport to Monroe.
Note #1-It has been said that the railroads regularly took loads of cheese from one another in order to get the freight haulage.
Note #2-The cheese storage warehouses are still standing and were restored in 1993-94 by the Monticello Community Club which put up the funds to purchase the Monticello Milwaukee Road depot.
Note #3-Chicago Madison and Northern was forced to start operations three months before they were ready to begin. John Jenswold, chairman of the board of CM&N said that that move forced the railroad to fail.
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