Watercolor… Illustrated on the left… the “William Crooks”, built in 1861, is the first steam locomotive to operate in Minnesota. The “William Crooks” is a 4-4-0 wood burner, built by the New Jersey Locomotive and Machine Works for the Minnesota and Pacific Railroad… which a year later, became the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. At some point, the firebox was converted to coal and the engine was purchased by the Great Northern Railroad. The Great Northern kept the engine on the roster as a show piece after it was no longer an efficient motive power unit.
The “Minnetonka”, built in 1870 by the Smith & Porter Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is an 0-4-0T and is the first locomotive to appear with the Northern Pacific Railway. In 1886 it was sold to the Poison Logging Company in Washington State, where it was substantially modified. In 1933, the Northern Pacific bought the “Minnetonka” back and restored it to it’s original specification, using it as a publicity engine. Both locomotives are currently displayed at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth, Minnesota.
The Bella Terra Series