Eye on the Past:
Stuhr Museum Weekly Photograph
Featured in the Grand Island Daily Independent

Grand Island Union Pacific Roundhouse, ca 1890
A coal-fired steam locomotive approaches the Grand Island's Union Pacific roundhouse. The roundhouse was completed in November 1888 for the cost of $350,000. It had stalls for 25 locomotives. It replaced an earlier roundhouse that sat on the north side of the U.P. tracks, blocking Locust Street. The limestone buildings visible in the background were the railroad's car shops built in the 1880-1883 period.

The roundhouse and shops were located on the east edge of Grand Island between the U.P. tracks and Highway 30. The stone building of the shops (left nearest the camera) was originally known as the machine shop and was first completed in 1881. It is the only one of the original buildings still standing. Note the railroad freight cars on the track leading to the building's large doors that permitted the cars to be rolled into the structure.

Grand Island photographer J.R. Moeller captured this image to be used in his 1890 Grand Island souvenir book. On the back of a six-foot panoramic image of Grand Island taken from atop the original Hall County Courthouse, Moeller included sixteen images of the city's most important and impressive structures. Other images include the Oxnard Sugar Beet Factory, Bartenbach Opera House, the Soldiers and Sailors Home, and Howard School.

For more information on this photograph or other Hall County history please contact:

Karen Keehr
Assistant Curator, Research Department
Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer
3133 West Hwy 34 / P.O. Box 1505
Grand Island, Nebraska 68802
308-385-5316, fax: 308-385-5028


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Created August 17, 2002
Research Department webmaster: Karen Keehr