Historic N.P Depot - Starbuck

Downtown Starbuck


Restored and Maintained by the Starbuck Depot Society


Scroll Down for a short history and points of interest

Photo: Starbuck Depot Society

DEPOT'S HISTORY - 1882 - 1983


The Starbuck Depot was built on land that was a part of the Andrew Hagenson farm. It was originally known as the Little Falls & Dakota Railroad, and later as the LF & D Branch. The Northern Pacific Railroad soon purchased it.

In the railroad world, Starbuck was known as SB68, then SB53568 in the computer era.  Rail service extended from Little Falls to Morris with passenger service twice a day and freight once a day. The first train arrived in Starbuck on November 10, 1882 and was heralded by the sound of a shrill steam whistle. Six sidetracks were in use. Many used the railroad service for Starbuck's clinic and hospital, which were the only medical facilities available in the area.

Freight service was vital to the economic expansion of Starbuck. Types of freight received included building supplies, farm machinery, medical and hospital supplies, daily mail, coal, etc. Farm products were shipped out by rail until the mid 1950s.

Before the advent of diesel engines, steam engines were used that required water periodically. Starbuck's water tower was located two blocks east of the depot. In conjunction with this water tower there was a brick pump house. Water was pumped into the tower from a cistern located in the northwest corner where the railroad and street intersected. The water was being supplied by a flowing well.


Passenger service terminated.


Telegraph service had been in use until this year. A winter storm took the lines down in 1969 and they were never replaced. Telegraph service was important as a means of private communication and served as documentation for legal purposes.


Northern Pacific merges. The merger of Northern Pacific, Great Northern, Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroads formed the Burlington Northern Railroad.


On July 1, the World's Largest Lefse was created on the depot grounds in celebration of Starbuck's Centennial.


The last train unceremoniously leaves Starbuck on July 15th.



The Starbuck Depot Society was formed for the purpose of restoring this prominent landmark.


On May 16, the first annual Lefse Dagen was held to commemorate the achievement of baking the World's Largest Lefse and to hold an open house celebration at the depot, site of this historic event.


  • Authentic Northern Pacific tools

  • Boardwalk

  • Caboose, one of only 10 built in 1909, authentic interior including stove, wall lamp, etc.

  • Crossing signals

  • Dirt scoop that was driven by horses to build the track bed

  • Engine bell on west side of building

  • Hand trucks

  • Replica of Starbuck jeweler's handmade clocks

  • Historical marker identifying site and size of World's Largest Lefse

  • Utensils used for the big lefse

  • Motorized hand car

  • Operating telegraph

  • Original depot items: agent's chair, safe, cabinets, ticket dater

  • Outhouse

  • Postal equipment; cancellation stamp, desk, mail pouch, scale

  • Railway Express Agency baggage cart

  • Stub switch, a rare hand operated track switch

  • Train order hoops

  • Train order signal

  • Two--wheel coal scoop

  • Storehouse display windows

  • Chamber of Commerce building and displays