Wisconsin depot burns

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Pembinedepot
The joint Milwaukee Road / Soo Line depot at Pembine, Wis., burned Monday.
Alexander D. Mitchell IV
PEMBINE, Wis. — A fire, believed to be arson, destroyed the joint Milwaukee Road/Soo Line depot at Pembine, Wis., Monday morning. The fire, reported at 10:43 a.m., according to local media sources, burned the structure to the foundation, rendering it a complete loss.

Two teenage boys have been arrested in connection with the fire. The boys, ages, 14 and 16, are both from the Pembine area of northeastern Wisconsin, the Marinette County Sheriff's Office says. Investigators did not release any more information about the boys or how they may have been involved.

A variety of construction dates have been given for the joint depot with two platforms and offices, at the crossing of the north-south Milwaukee Road line from Green Bay to Ontonagon (now the Escanaba & Lake Superior) and the east-west Soo Line from Sault Ste. Marie-St. Paul (later Wisconsin Central and now CN, with E&LS trackage rights from Pembine to Wells).

Although local news reports say the depot dated back to 1887, one account states the current depot was built in 1896, to replace a similar one that was destroyed when a Milwaukee train collided with a Soo Line train. The Railroad Station Historical Society online database gives the building's construction date as 1914. Canadian National and the E&LS shared use of the surviving depot in recent years for storage of maintenance of way materials.

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