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Bob Lind, Published October 05 2010

Lind: The Goose carried cream

As I was growing up on the farm, it was quite a thrill to see the (Galloping Goose) train and watch the cream (from her parents’ farm) start its trip to Minnesota (to a creamery there),” writes Marian (Iverson) Johnson, Brampton, N.D.

“This was done for quite a number of years,” she says.

The cream was shipped to the Tilden Creamery in St. Paul.

The farm on which Marian grew up and which her son now owns has been in the family since before North Dakota became a state.

Her grandfather filed a tree claim on the land when he came over from Norway.

“I also live on the farm,” Marian says, “in a mobile home in what I fondly call the ‘hog pasture,’ as it was one of the locations where my dad and uncle raised pigs during my growing-up years.”

“There is a lot of history in these old farms,” Marian correctly observes.

North Dakota Geese

Bill Kuebler, formerly of Fargo and now of Apple Valley, Minn., knows a lot about railroad history. He provides some information on the popular old gas-electric Galloping Goose trains.

North Dakota, he writes, had, by far, the most gas-electrics in service of any state on the Northern Pacific line, which included Minnesota, Montana, Idaho and Washington.

“North Dakota quite possibly was one of the top states in that regard when compared with all railroads; I know of no state that had as many gas-electrics still operating in, say, 1958.

“They rapidly dwindled, however, during 1958-1961,” Bill says, “with those operating out of Jamestown being the last to go. But the North Dakota Public Service Commission of the late 1950s kept them in service for many years beyond when most other roads had discontinued their gas-electrics.”

And thus kept the cream cans moving between, say, Brampton and St. Paul.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or e-mail blind@forumcomm.com