Retracing footsteps

Kathy Redin and her husband, John, of Ramsey, New Jersey, paid a visit to the Karlstad Soo Line Depot now situated at the Pelan Pioneer Park located between Greenbush and Karlstad. This building is where Kathy’s grandfather, Carl T. Franson was employed as the station agent for several years. Her mother, Maxine, was born in the family living quarters on the second floor in 1922. (photo by Mavis Gonshorowski)

Kathy Redin and her husband, John, of Ramsey, New Jersey, paid a visit to the Karlstad Soo Line Depot now situated at the Pelan Pioneer Park located between Greenbush and Karlstad. This building is where Kathy’s grandfather, Carl T. Franson was employed as the station agent for several years. Her mother, Maxine, was born in the family living quarters on the second floor in 1922. (photo by Mavis Gonshorowski)

 

The Karlstad Soo Line Depot as it stands today at the Pelan Pioneer Park. Built in 1904, the depot was located in Karlstad, Minn., until 1980, when it was moved to Pelan. (photo by Mavis Gonshorowski)

The Karlstad Soo Line Depot as it stands today at the Pelan Pioneer Park. Built in 1904, the depot was located in Karlstad, Minn., until 1980, when it was moved to Pelan. (photo by Mavis Gonshorowski)

Having a deep interest in genealogy found Kathy Redin of Ramsey, New Jersey, retracing the footsteps of her grandfather, Carl T. Franson and family members, recently.  

Born in 1892, the 1895 Territorial Census tells of Franson residing in Warren, Minn.  He graduated from Bachelor of Accounts, North Star College in 1910 in Warren, Minn., and seven years later, on June 1, 1917, at Mylo, N.D., he claimed exemption from the draft because of a wife and mother to support.

Kathy said, “Records show that my grandfather married Gertrude Drager in June of 1916 at Seattle, Wash.  The Drager family was residing in Snohomish, Wash., having moved there in 1912.”

In Kathy’s researching “The Karlstad Advocate” newspaper, dated March 7, 1919, she found it to read, E.W. Lathrop leaves as Soo Line Station agent and C.T. Franson and family, arrived from Lawton, N.D. 

Now the station master for the Soo Line Depot in Karlstad, Franson had previously served in that capacity at Mylo.

On September 15, 1922, some exciting news was shared…There has been a heavy rush on choice Havanas the last week while Daddy Franson has attended to the honors in grand style.  An eight pound baby girl arrived at the CT Franson home Saturday, Sept. 9.

Given the name Maxine,  she would be the only child born to the Fransons.

Gertrude Franson passed away in May of 1932 at the age of 40 years. In 1935, Mr.  Franson married Mildred Loftness.

Carl Franson died in July 1941, and is buried at Karlstad.  Mildred Franson passed in 1998.

With most Soo Line depots in the area disappearing from the scene, so it was with the depot at Karlstad.  Rather than it being demolished, however, it was moved from its position along the Soo Line track to a lot on South Main in ‘74. 

Six years later, it was again moved, this time to the Pelan Pioneer Park located halfway between Karlstad and Greenbush, along State Highway 11.

On Thursday afternoon, August 11, this stately, over a century old, structure, nestled in among the oak trees, was paid a visit by Kathy and her husband, John.  For Kathy, it was a time of recalling many fond memories of years gone by in a depot that once bustled with activity and now stands empty and silent.  

To see the complete story and more photos, read the August 25 edition of The Tribune in print or online.

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