HERE COMES A TRAIN MUSEUM  —  The Pondera Depot Society is in the works to add a train museum to Conrad.  They plan on purchasing the above train depot from the Pondera Coalition for Progress.  While in the beginning stages, the museum seems to be a real possibility. I-O Photo by Adam Jerome





By Adam Jerome, I-O Reporter

This past April, Rick Moss decided to hold an informational meeting regarding a possible train museum in Conrad.

After that meeting the Pondera Depot Society (PDS) was born.With only seven people involved at this juncture the project is definitely in its infant stages.

On May 14, the PDS elected officers.Burt Rigby was elected president, Tom Buffum was chosen as vice president, Alan Daugherty is the secretary and Keith Kallstrom was selected as treasurer.

The group anticipates purchasing the old train depot from the Pondera Coalition for Progress for a price tag of $5,000 and transforming it into a museum that represents the history of the railroad in the Conrad area.

They hope to include mostly Great Northern Railroad antiques in the museum, but realize that they may have other train company artifacts as well.

Within the building there will be three separate sections.The first division of the depot will be transformed into the main museum part of the building.The second section will be to restore the shipping and receiving area and the third room will be turned into a model train room.

The board plans to work in conjunction with the Conrad Historical and Transportation Museum in order to legitimize the project.

The society has already written bylaws, obtained a tax ID and filed for articles of incorporation.

At this time they have also applied for a 501C3 to give the project non-profit status.This may take time, but the plan is to start applying for grant money to come up with the funds to purchase the depot.

The PDS has already raised over $700 as Moss dressed up like a train conductor during Whoop-Up Trail Days and solicited donations.

They are in discussion for future fundraisers and other money making opportunities.

In the meantime the PDS is continuing to look for and hopefully obtaining train antiques that will go in the museum after its purchase.

While at its beginning stage, the Pondera Depot Society and the future train museum are on solid ground and continue to move forward.

There is a lot of work left to do, but these men and women have made this project a priority.

If the group continues at this pace don’t be surprised to see Conrad with another museum to show off its rich cultural history.

The PDS is always looking for more members.The group meets every fourth Tuesday of the month at the VFW at 7 p.m.

If you have questions about the project, wish to join the group or just donate money or railroad antiques contact either Rigby at (406) 627-2397 or Moss at (406) 278-3551.