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Trestle Bay

Located west of North Lake Station, Trestle Bay (Milepost 74.8) was the site of a 1000-foot pile trestle across the west end of North Lake.

The trestle was originally constructed in 1892, part of 20 miles of very difficult construction that occurred that year to complete the line. Building the trestle was much easier than going around the bay, which is officially known as Goose Bay. That route would have added an extra mile of line, and taken the railway through some very swampy and rocky terrain. There are no known photographs of the trestle.

This structure was used by the PAD&W from 1893 until 1902, when the then owners of the line, Canadian Northern Railway, stopped running trains past North Lake Station. However, it was quickly leased by the Pigeon River Lumber Company, who had just constructed a logging railroad, the Gunflint & Lake Superior, which connected to the PAD&W at Milepost 79. Heavily-laden log trains rumbled over its length for the next 7 years, until April 1909 when the logging operation closed.

The same year tragedy struck. In late May, forest fires were reported in the area. The exact date is unknown, but sometime before June 4th, the trestle was consumed by the fire, completely obliterating the wooden structure down to the waterline. It effectively severed line to Gunflint and seriously hampered any thought of a connection to the United States.

Today, the rails and telegraph insulators lie strewn about the bottom of the bay, while the piles jut out like silent sentinels. At some point a car ended up in the bay, likely a victim of soft ice on the lake in the decades that followed.

Link to 1911 and 1924 maps.

There are several videos of the remains of Trestle Bay from 2010 to the present in the YouTube playlist below.

 

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