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New site coordinator brings change to End-O-Line

CURRIE -- Exciting changes are taking place at the End-O-Line Park and Museum, starting with the hiring of a new site coordinator. Jakob Etrheim was raised in Garretson, S.D. From there he attended college at South Dakota State University to stud...

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Jakob Etrheim is the new site coordinator at the End-O-Line Park and Museum in Currie. (Camila Wede/The Globe)

 

CURRIE - Exciting changes are taking place at the End-O-Line Park and Museum, starting with the hiring of a new site coordinator.

 

Jakob Etrheim was raised in Garretson, S.D. From there he attended college at South Dakota State University to study history, specifically museum studies and American history post-Civil War.

 

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“My particular passion in history is American presidential history,” Etrheim said. “I can name all the presidents in order.”

 

“I’ve worked or volunteered in museums in South Dakota and Minnesota for over seven years now,” Etrheim continued. “Prior to starting at End-O-Line, I worked in Willmar at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society for about a year, where I was hired to inventory the society’s three-dimensional artifact collection. Like End-O-Line, Willmar has a deep history with the railroad, which really prepared me to work here.

 

“Despite being a “Dakotan,” I am no stranger to the region,” he added. “My father’s side of the family lives near the Jasper, Edgerton, and Hardwick area. In grade school, I spent many a summer attending Shetek Lutheran Bible Camp. I think this is a beautiful and under-appreciated part of the state.”

 

Etrheim began his first day as site coordinator on July 19.

 

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“My job at EOL is to oversee the operation of the park and historical collections,” Etrheim described. “Myself and the summer assistants that work here give guided tours of the park. The tour includes eight buildings, two cabooses, two train engines and our famous 1901 hand-operated turntable.”

 

The turntable, Etrheim said, is the only one still operational in Minnesota that has not been moved from its initial site and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Etrheim has already begun looking into the different possibilities for the site.

 

“I have devised a few plans for the park in my short time here that I would like to implement for next summer,” he said. “Something I would like to create is a Friends of EOL advisory group to help create more fundraising for us. If being a member or board member of this group interests you, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

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“I am also looking to install more exhibits,” Etrheim added. “My predecessor was working on developing an exhibit about the history of Currie, and I would like to continue those efforts. I would also like to have more events out at the park, possibly a concert series, historical talks or special behind-the- scenes tours.

 

“Finally, looking down the road, I would also like to look at furthering conservation efforts to our historic turntable. At 116 years old, we still give her a spin for every tour that comes to the park, but as you can imagine, her age is starting to show. Especially when it is a wet season, the pit is typically full of water, which is not good for the metal parts and limestone.”

 

The turntable is one of many exhibits open to visitors including the 1942 Grand Trunk Western Caboose, an authentically restored Depot, HO model train display, Fairmont motorcars, the first county school in Murray County, a picnic shelter, playground equipment and more.

 

“During my short time at EOL, I’ve met and worked with many great people and I look forward to meeting new people from the area,” Etrheim said. “This is a great place to bring your kids, grandkids, or relatives for part of the day. Even if you have been on a tour of the park before, I would encourage you to come again.”

 

End-O-Line is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. There is an admission fee for adults and students; children age 5 and younger get in free.

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The playground "train" is a popular item for kids at the End-O-Line Park and Museum. (Camila Wede/The Globe)

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