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NMRHA Seeks Funding to Build a New Home

Web posted December 25, 2018
The Northern MN Railroad Heritage Association (NMRHA) lost most of its inventory in June 2018 when the Pineberry Plaza building that they were leasing experienced a serious fire. That was the bad news. The good news is that the owners of Pineberry Plaza decided not to rebuild, and they have donated the property to the NMRHA. The NMRHA is ever grateful. However, this is a mixed blessing, in that it provides the opportunity for the NMRHA organization to build a new home, and to rebuild the model train layouts and displays that were so popular with the public at their previous location on County Rd 3, Crosslake, but there will be significant costs to build a new facility.

The NMRHA property insurance did cover some of the costs related to building new layouts, and for purchasing new track, train cars, engines, and displays. The NMRHA is a non-profit 501c3 organization, which opens up the possibility of receiving government and foundation grants to help off-set capital costs and non-capital expenses related to building new layouts and historic displays.

If the NMRHA can raise $500,000, they can build a new facility. A committee of NMRHA members and other individuals has been formed to explore ways to raise funds; through donations by club members, grant applications, and a Building Campaign. There has already been an outpouring of support from the community to help the NMRHA. Individuals and businesses have offered matching fund dollars, and also have offered to pay the costs of hiring a professional grant writer. Matching funds are currently available, so If you could donate, then the NMRHA could receive those dollars.

If adequate funds can be raised, construction could begin in the spring of 2019 to build a facility as shown in the illustration above on the former Pineberry Plaza site. During construction of the new building, the club members would be building new layouts in another location; such that they could be moved into the new building, and get the new facility open to the public as soon as possible.

For over 11 years the NMRHA model railroad museum was a popular place for locals and area visitors to stop in and see the trains and displays. Over 4000 people visited the museum annually, many of them over and over again. The NMRHA hosted birthday parties, senior outings, offered a friendly environment for the members to work together on the layouts and to socialize, and educated others about model railroading and local railroad history. The members believe that rebuilding is an attainable goal, and they want to once again offer the joy of model trains and railroading to everyone in the area.

If you are interested in joining the club and/or helping the NMRHA raise funds, rebuild new layouts, or make a donation, please contact George at 218-829- 8922 or by mailing a note/donation to NMRHA, PO Box 494, Crosslake, MN 56442. All Aboard!

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