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Pioneer Park Historical Complex raises money to restore ‘5 Spot’ engine

The Pioneer Park Historical Complex needs the community’s help to keep the historic “5 spot” train engine from sinking into the ground.
Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 10:56 AM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -

The Pioneer Park Historical Complex needs the community’s help to keep the historic “5 spot” train engine from sinking into the ground.

Over the last 50 years, the coal-burning steam engine has slowly sunk, tarnishing the wheels and track. With their new fundraiser, the PPHC hopes to raise $65,000. That money will not only help them build a new foundation for the train to sit on, but a cover to save it from Wisconsin’s elements.

“Everybody remembers the first time they saw a train engine and there is just something really special about trains. To see an engine on display, this being the only train engine on display in Oneida County, it’s really really special. And it’s special to our northern Wisconsin history and heritage. To see this engine preserved into the future would be really wonderful,” Kerry Bloedorn the Pioneer Park Historical Complex Director said.

This narrow-spot, coal-burning steam engine has been in Rhinelander since 1973. Before that, it hauled lumber and coal around north-central Wisconsin and even spent some time in Mexico.

At this time the PPHC has raised about half of their goal through word of mouth, but are hoping to get all the funds by the end of the summer so they can finish phase one by the end of the year.

To preserve the area’s unique history, a community fund entitled the Pioneer Park Historical Complex Fund was established by the Rhinelander Community Foundation. Individuals may direct tax-deductible charitable donations to the PPHC Fund. Donations will then be used to make grants available for high priority projects at the PPHC, beginning with the 5 Spot project.

online donation towards the project can be made at www.rhinelandercommunityfoundation.com

Copyright 2020 WSAW. All rights reserved.

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