SIOUX CITY (KTIV) – The Sioux City Railroad Museum has earned an honor that only 14 other sites in the United States have earned.
The Milwaukee Railroad Shops, located on their property, has become the newest railroad site to be designated as a National Historic District.
It has been an effort that includes over 30 years of research and lots of teamwork from the volunteers here at the museum.
In 1987 these grounds were in ruins and had been red-tagged by the city.
Just 31 years later, the same place has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It is thanks to some very hard work by a group of passionate volunteers.
“I’ve probably invested over 7,000 hours of historical research talking to former workers then writing the nomination itself,” said Larry Obermeyer, Board Member.
After several rewrites and resubmissions, they finally found out that they had achieved the honor on October 29.
“It’s saying that the story of this place does matter to many people and to our community. This is really the crowning achievement for all of the work we have put in to preserve this site,” said Obermeyer.
Former workers and a crowd of community members came out Wednesday to celebrate the occasion.
“It is very important to Sioux Cityians that we capture our history, live out our history, recognize it, embrace it and celebrate it,” said Dan Moore, Sioux City City Council.
Even though this process has now been finished, the work isn’t done.
“Turn our focus from restoration into interpretation, exhibits, and education about what we have here and the significance that it has,” said Matt Merk, Sioux City Railroad Museum Executive Director.
When asked, the President of the Railroad Museum said that he wasn’t sure where they would put the plaque yet.