As villages grew in the late 1800's, our `village' has also grown. The Wheels Across the Prairie's buildings are real. The school house is furnished with genuine artifacts, the barber shop, summer kitchen and the post office are authentic. Replica buildings are the 1930 cottage and the chapel. The collections are period pieces. We showcase some of the collections we own in the different buildings such as tractors, a wild bird collection, a car and various machinery.
We have several exciting and interesting displays and buildings that tell many stories of our area at the Wheels Across the Prairie Museum! Our volunteers are available to answer questions and help guide you through local history.
C. & N.W.R. Engine & Depot
C. & N.W.R. Engine
Our signature attraction is our four-unit freight train. The engine is a 1915 American locomotive used in the yard of the St. Paul railroad system. The engine and the coal car were sold to a private owner in Rochester, MN and later sold again to the museum site.
To complement the engine we were able to obtain an immigrant box car from the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad and finally added the caboose which is the rolling workstation.
We found an original CNW depot from Volga, SD. Our train exhibit is also highlighted by the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder who took her first train ride from Walnut Grove to Tracy in the 1880's. Mrs. Wilder details the event in her book, “By the Shores of Silver Lake.” Tracy is also mentioned as a rail center in the book, “The Long Winter.”
St. Marks Episcopal Church
The Church Mission was begun in Tracy, MN under the care of Rev. C.I. Haupt, Archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota, on October 13, 1899. Later, the congregation rented a vacant building and used it until this church was erected in 1901-1902. Inside you will find authentic church memorabilia from the late 1800's.
St. Mark’s is available for rental for weddings, renewal of vows, baptisms, etc.
$100.00 Damage Deposit.
The John H. Low Cabin
In November of 1863 an expedition of 140 wagons, each drawn by two or three yokes of oxen, were sent out from Mankato to carry supplies to Fort Thompson, SD, on the Missouri River. John H. Low was a "Bull Whacker" (or teamster) on this expedition. They entered Murray County in what is now the township of Dovray on an old government trail.
During this time they passed by a lake they called Bear Lake. A good stand of timber was available and the brothers decided to stake out a homestead. The lake was also called "The Great Oasis". The men erected their cabins from the logs they harvested (The year was 1866).
Step back in time to see vintage farm equipment powered by the horse and early tractors.
District #91 - Established 1897
The Teacher usually lived with a family in
the district and was responsible for the housekeeping and janitor chores at the school. out buildings on the school grounds included the two outdoor toilets and a coal shed.
The teacher had to start the fire in the space heater every cold morning and keep it going to heat the classroom. The coal had to be carried in and the ashes out. Those whose desks were close to the stove were usually too warm, while those in the other corner were cold.
U.S. Post Office - Amiret, MN
The original post office in Amiret for several years, now used on the museum grounds, hold memorabilia of the Amiret Community Band, along with other artifacts of the Amiret community.
Monroe Town Hall
This building was a town hall in 1890 that was moved two miles west on Highway 14 to replace a school house that had burned down. It was used as a schoolhouse, known as the Muedeking School, and Pleasant View School, until 1954.
At that time, District 417 absorbed all country schools into the district. The town hall continues to function as an active part of the grassroots government in session, even though it has been moved to the museum property.
This memorial is dedicated to the men and women veterans who served our country in times of peace and war. Especially those who gave their lives.