Sunday, June 23, 2013

What Could Have Been

From the 1893 Plat Atlas - Click to Enlarge
[Map Credit:  Library of Congress]

In the section of Pembina shown above - part of the 1893 Plat Map of Pembina County - you can see how the railroad was set up to come in north/south, but had a spur going southeast towards St. Vincent. In a stereoview of St. Vincent, it shows a spur coming up from the main track into town from the east, that then turn north and goes along the river to the exact point across the Red from the Pembina spur. At that time, the only thing needed was a railway bridge over the river, but that never happened, and that was one reason of many that discouraged more growth in St. Vincent. There was some serious missed opportunities, poorly thought-out politicking, etc. that went into it all. The nail in the coffin came around the infamous 1897 flood, after which J.J. Hill wanted to move the town out to the wye, aka the Junction and higher ground.  But Mayor Deacon said no to the offer, without discussing it with any other city council member, let alone the towns people.  We can only speculate as to his reasons.

St. Vincent Spur that once went round north to opposite bank
from Pembina's spur, meant to cross river via bridge never
built, every likely thanks to William Deacon's fateful decision