The Preston Historical Society (PHS) has been working with the MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to recognize the historic connection to the Milwaukee Railroad line at Isinours. Preston was missed by the mainline and a link to that line was established by building a spur rail line out to Isinours, about 3 miles northeast of Preston.
PHS member, Jon DeVries, has a great interest in the history of the railroad in Preston. While hiking out in the Isinours area, he found remnants of the Isinours Junction and turntable site. It was being used as a brush storage area and Trail staff did not know that any part of the railroad junction still existed in the area.
Pictured are the remnants of the turn table at Isinours which was the connecting point for the rail line from Preston to the main Milwaukee Railroad line.
With subsequent contacts, it was learned that the DNR Division of Parks and Trails had been interested in making the Isinours area an Interpretive Site. Jon worked with the DNR to do research of the area: the depot and turntable at the site, and the Milwaukee Road trains that served the area.
Through Jon’s continuous work with the DNR, two new interpretive signs are now installed at Isinours on the Root River Trail by DNR – one featuring the “lost depot” and one the historic “turntable” whose remains are now visible. The signs include pictures of the Preston to Isinours freight train and the Preston turntable – a sister to the Isinours one. The signs include remembrances from several members of the Preston Historic Society who had railroad family ties – including Donna Ibach and Bob Maust.
Preston Historical Society members Bob & Elaine Maust, Jon DeVries, and Sheila Craig toured the site in October 2017 with DNR staff.