Northern Pacific Depot, Villard

While the Pope County Museum is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be highlighting historic sites around Pope County. We hope that you can walk or drive to visit these sites while maintaining appropriate physical distancing.

Northern Pacific Depot, Villard


The standard, unassuming plan of the Villard Depot betrays its historic significance.  As a shipping point for agricultural products and supply point for local businesses, the depot played a pivotal role in the town’s commerce and, indeed, represents the primary factor which determined the establishment of the community.  The Little Falls and Dakota Branch of the Northern Pacific Railway was constructed in 1882, providing a link between the Northern Pacific at Little Falls and the St. Paul and Pacific at Morris, opening better access between Pope County agricultural producers and shipping facilities at Duluth.  The village was platted the same year on land owned by John and Calista Williams, and the depot building was constructed. The town was named after Henry Villard, president of the Northern Pacific Railroad at the time that the plat was made.


Villard Depot in 1993

The depot was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Follow the link to read the application.

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