For Hub City Times
MARSHFIELD — Late last summer the city of Marshfield’s Historic Preservation Committee hired Dennis Bargander of Dennis Bargander Construction to restore the cab of the Soo Line steam locomotive No. 2442 located at Wildwood Park & Zoo. The project included reconstructing the roof, replacing the windows and cab floor, and reinstalling existing hardware. The project is now complete.
Although this project is finished, there is still additional work on the cab as part of a possible future restoration project, including adding the seats, fixing the interior lighting, and adding a canvas curtain to the back of the cab to weatherproof the engine a bit and prevent further degradation.
Keith Meacham, past member of the Historic Preservation Committee, lent his expertise on the project and volunteered numerous hours providing guidance and replacing much of the hardware. Although the project took longer than initially planned, it stayed on budget, and the committee is pleased with the results.
The committee is also excited about the future of the 2442. As guests come to see the Kodiak bears Munsey and Boda and three new wolves, there will be more visitors to the historic locomotive as well. Also, the planned route for the Wildwood-McMillan Connector trail goes right past the engine site. With plans for construction in the next year or two, the committee is hopeful that the trail will bring additional foot traffic to one of Marshfield’s treasured historic resources.
During Zoofest 2016, taking place June 18 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., the Historic Preservation Committee is having a free “2442 Open House,” where visitors will have the opportunity for up-close viewing of 2442. Resident 2442 expert Meacham will be available for tours and to answer questions. The gate to 2442 will be open from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. In addition to the viewing, there will be a photo opportunity area for the public and wooden train whistles, children’s engineer caps, and bandanas available for purchase.