Bancroft Depot

Geotag information GEO: 44.456624, -89.540563

The depot was originally located in Bancroft on the Wisconsin Central Railway. It was built in 1898, and later became part of the Soo Line. During its heyday, the depot was an important stop on the "P line", the Soo Line's branch extending from Portage to Point (hence the name).

The exterior of this building and 1st floor have been restored to its 1920’s look by the Central Wisconsin Model Railroaders, Ltd., They are using the basement as a clubhouse. This is the only remaining example of the 6 depots built in this style. Since being moved to the Park on June 13, 1990, the platform and first floor interior, 2nd floor, adding a RR siding and caboose have been completed.

A more detailed description is at The Bancroft Depot by Don Kottke.

August, 2011. A news clip from "The Wisconsin Valley Leader", Grand Rapids, Wi. (later to be known as Wisconsin Rapids) dated May 22, 1902 states: "During the electrical and rain storm on Saturday night, the railroad depots at Bancroft, Coloma Station and Westfield on the Portage Branch of the Wisconsin Central railroad were struck by lightening and totally destroyed." If this is true, it may account for our inability to confirm a date for the construction of this depot. The earliest dated photo we have is 1908.

The Portage Line was begun in 1875 and reached Hancock by winter. It is possible that another smaller depot existed in Bancroft prior to the 1902 event. More research will be done to determine this.



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