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The Milwaukee Road



The rail crossing guard house has gone the way of the caboose.

As late as 1971, something akin to these lollypops stood on the west side of Broadway in downtown Fargo: a shack, probably no larger than six-by-eight — just big enough for a chair and writing shelf — braced at the top of a substantial post. I barely recall its access, more ladder than stair, though I also cannot remember seeing anyone inside it, ever. I suspect the obligation for it to be occupied had expired and the outhouse-on-a-stick disappeared soon after.

When the Milwaukee Road reached Agincourt isn’t settled. Nor do we know whether an earlier line had formed, one to be acquired by the larger line when it saw appreciable traffic — and revenue. So I can’t say with any assurance when a guard might have kept watch where Broad street crossed the railway at the south edge of town; whether his shack would have been something unique, jerrybuilt, eccentric or whether it might have been a stock, pattern-book design, a corporate predictability. It could easily have looked something like either of these:


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