The Milwaukee Depot by Nancy Watts

The Milwaukee Depot (now the Yogo Inn) was built in 1913 at 211 E. Main, Lewistown, Montana.

In 1903 the first train into Lewistown was owned by the Montana Railroad. The Montana Railroad built a depot at the end of 1st Avenue South and Brassey Street. When the Milwaukee Railroad from 1907-1910 bought and took over the Montana Railroad, they used this same depot until they built a new depot at 211 E. Main (later the Yogo Inn).

“…the Milwaukee road will establish a new depot and grounds at the head of Main Street [211 E. Main], the site including the Jackson property south of the Judith Basin Flour Mill. Negotiations for the land required have not resulted in any satisfactory arrangement and condemnation proceedings have been instituted.” (Fergus Co. Democrat, Sep. 17, 1912).

“The next step would be the closing of Janeaux St., considered as absolutely necessary. The obstacle now encountered is the claim of Father van den Broeck for compensation for the damages to the [Catholic] church property if the depot plan, with the closing of Janeaux St. and the other details, are all carried out. Father van den Brock calls attention to the fact that the church property would be practically isolated. He expressed his willingness to accept $25,500….” (Fergus Co. Democrat, Jan. 14, 1913).

The railroad later, “offered to buy the block on which the Catholic Church stands,” (Fergus Co. Democrat, Feb. 25, 1913).

“Work on the depot stopped….because of a controversy with the Great Northern over two lots…the Milwaukee supposed arrangements had been made with the Great Northern to take over two lots purchased by the latter when it planned to proceed eastward via Spring Creek instead of Boyd Creek. The change in this plan by the adoption of the Boyd Creek route was supposed to have rendered the two lots in question of no importance to the Great Northern while they were very important to the Milwaukee.” [the lawsuit was later terminated] (Fergus Co. Democrat, Sep. 2, 1913).

[The depot] will stand on a foundation 36 by 280 feet and will be two stories high… The structure will be of brick and concrete and will be erected at a cost of not less than $60,000.” (Fergus Co. Democrat, September 2, 1913).

“..the Milwaukee this week begins the actual construction of its new passenger depot, just off Main street.” (Fergus Co. Democrat, Nov 18, 1913).

“The new Milwaukee passenger depot is rapidly nearing completion. The building is well equipped with all the modern passenger depot conveniences, as well as possessing many points of beauty. The building is absolutely fire proof, tiling, marble and concrete being used extensively. With the exception of the baggage rooms and ticket office, the entire first floor is turned over to passengers. On the second will be the offices…All fixtures are of the best, and the whole place is well lighted, both by windows and electrical appliances.” (Fergus Co. Democrat, Jun 11, 1914).

“Work is now being centered on laying the big cement platform in front of the depot, and in laying out the grass plot at the side. The platform will average 22 feet in width, and will extend 200 feet east beyond the station.” (Fergus Co. Democrat, Jul 16, 1914).

“The new Milwaukee passenger depot opened for service yesterday…tickets will be sold for the first time from the new window this morning. The first train to arrive in the new depot last night was the one from Grass Range, then the Hilger train and the Arrow Creek train.” (Fergus Co. Democrat, Aug 6, 1914).

“The Train No. 131 from Butte did not arrive until almost 10:00 o’clock last night, but pulled in at the new station which was lighted brightly and presented a very satisfactory appearance. The new lunch room was crowded with patrons yesterday…the dining room itself is large and comfortably arranged… “(Fergus Co. Democrat, Aug 6, 1914).

“By tomorrow night, the Milwaukee passenger station at the end of First avenue will be abandoned. This evening at 6:30 o’clock, train No. 131 from Butte will carry its passengers to the new station on Main Street.” (Fergus Co. Democrat, Aug 6, 1914).

The Milwaukee discontinued passenger service in Lewistown in 1953 and freight service in 1979. The passenger depot was purchased by the Lewistown Community Hotel Co., and became the Yogo Inn in 1963.

The Milwaukee Depot at 211 E. Main (now the Yogo Inn) was built in 1913.
Notice the Catholic Church (built in 1887) on the left side in the background.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. (Clicking "Accept" will remove this message for one year.) Read More

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below, then you are consenting to this practice.