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Wentworth, which had been used by both Milwaukee Road and Great North- ern as a union depot after 1916, was moved to the village in 1972 and filled with railroad artifacts, as was the tiny station that had served nearby Junius, which was discovered being used as a feed shed on a local farm. Habeger called the collection “Prairie Village.”


Days of Narrow Gauge Steam


Early on it was desired to have a rail- road encircling the village, and it was Harbeger, along with Paul Redfield and Leo Huston, that made this dream a reality. They started out small at first. In 1969 they bought an 8-ton German 0-4-0T built in 1927 by Orenstein & Koppel. Originally sold to German min- ing company Hiiberna AG, for decades it worked on a two-foot-gauge colliery railway at the Wilhelmine Viktoria coal mine in Gelsenkirchen. When the mine was shuttered in 1960 the engine was put up for sale, and in 1965 was pur- chased by Minnesota steam enthusiast Earl Grice, who had it shipped over- seas to his farm near Mankato. Grice planned to put down a loop track for the 0-4-0T, but four years later sold the en- gine to Prairie Village in order to fund other projects. The German engine was


trucked to Madison and overhauled by Redfield, Harbeger, and Huston, who also built an open-air passenger car and spiked down a half-mile of track. The first rides on the narrow gauge “South Dakota Central” were given during the 1970 Jamboree.


Locomotive 29 Arrives After selling his German 0-4-0T, Earl


Grice set his sights on acquiring a larg- er standard gauge steam locomotive. In 1970 he purchased 0-6-0 No. 29 from Minnesota’s Duluth & Northeastern for scrap value of $4000. The heavy switch- er had been sitting idle outside D&NE’s shop in Cloquet, Minn., since its retire- ment in 1964, but was still mechanically complete. Grice made some repairs and test-fired the engine before having it hauled to Mankato in 1971.


No. 29 had led a long and colorful ca- reer, first for the Army and then for a


pair of Midwestern short lines. Built for utility rather than looks, the engine is a copy of a World War I-era USRA 0-6-0 with modifications to adapt it for mili- tary service. Of the 80 0-6-0s of this type that were built, eight survive in the U.S. and Canada, of which No. 29 is one of three still in operating condition. In 1941, needing a heavy 0-6-0 with tender for service in Africa and Europe, the U.S. Army Transportation Corps took the USRA 0-6-0 design from 1918 and tweaked it to create the USATC S155 class. Basic USRA dimensions re- mained the same; the S155s weighed 77 tons, had 21"×28" cylinders, 190 p.s.i. boilers, and a grate area of 33 square feet. Powerful machines, they developed 40,000 lbs. of tractive effort. Tenders were modified from the original USRA design for better visibility, and held ten tons of coal and 6500 gallons of water. Other minor changes included a reduc-


OPPOSITE: Former Duluth & Northeastern No. 29 takes a ride on Prairie Village’s 35-ton turntable on August 24, 2014. The three-stall wooden roundhouse was built in 1997. After sitting idle for nearly ten years, the locomotive was returned to service in 2012. ABOVE LEFT: Classic steam and gas tractors are a big part of Prairie Village and the annual Jamboree. It was the 20-40 Case on the right that got Joe Harbe- ger interested in antique machinery restoration. Without this tractor, Prairie Village wouldn’t ex- ist today. ABOVE: The union depot from Went- worth, S.D., served both Milwaukee Road and Great Northern. It was moved to Prairie Village in 1972 and now serves the PVH&M along the shore of Lake Herman. Note the Milwaukee Road switch stand. LEFT: German-built 0-4-0T Wilhelmine Viktoria No. 5 shares space in the PVH&M roundhouse with 0-4-0T No. 11, built by Alco-Cooke in 1924. Prairie Village acquired No. 11 in 1992 from the Historic Deadwood Central, which used the engine for tourist trips out of Deadwood, S.D., in the late 1980s. It is currently awaiting repairs.


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