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Historic Houghton Depot gets new home in Bayview Park

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Bayview, WI -- A century-old, run-down building in the Bayfield peninsula has gotten a new home and a new purpose.

On Monday, crews moved the original Houghton Depot to the Town of Bayview Park.

It served as a train depot for 50 years, then a personal home. In 2018, the previous owners gave the building to the town of Bayview.

The Bayview History Committee organized the move. The 15 by 20 foot building was moved about 5 miles from a site in Washburn.

The history committee says this project is one way to keep the depot alive and share its past with future generations.

The building's new purpose will be an educational tool for students.

Project leaders say the building needs a major overhaul before it can welcome students there. But eventually, Mary Gruhl who's building the education program says she hopes it can serve as a window to the past.

"We have several individuals who are interviewing our older population to get the history behind that.", Gruhl stated.

A history lesson that Gruhl says will be perfect for elementary students.

"4th grade is when they learn about Wisconsin history, and we really want to encourage schools to come here on fields trips and learn about how important the rails were.", Mentioned Gruhl.

The town of Bayview's history committee budgeted about $20,000 for this renovation project and through several large donations they are currently at $11,000.

They hope to raise more awareness by holding presentations and sending out postcards about the project.

"We received a lot of positive feedback, a lot of people are grateful and supportive", Stated Paul Johnson, President of the History Committee.

Project leaders are looking forward to this project as it continues to take shape.

"This as retirement, is an awesome opportunity to continue doing what I really love to do and that’s working with children of all ages and adults as well.", Said Gruhl

Project leaders are hopeful to have the outside complete by summer, the inside will be remodeled in the fall and to have programs up and running by spring of 2021.

They hope it will draw in not only elementary students, but tourists and adults curious about history as well.

Kaitlyn Moffett

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