From the formation of Heritage Group North, its members have continued to stay busy organizing, researching, planning, building public support and creating on-going fund-raising campaigns. These ambitious activities include, but are not limited to: historical research of the Depot and the local railway and their relationship to the greater Pine River area; determination as to the best plan for restoration, with input from State Historic Architect Natascha Wiener, the State Historic Preservation Office and numerous other groups and individuals. HGN has garnered extensive publicity on the Depot project in the local media, as well as making numerous informational presentations to the general public, the Pine River Chamber of Commerce, the Pine River City Council, as well as manning informational booths at Pine River area festivals.
HGN commissioned a rendering of the Depot Project as it would appear when fully restored and built a scale model of the “restored” Depot to help convey the on-going vision to the public.
Heritage Group North, Inc was established to explore the human and natural history of the greater Pine River area, and to share and interpret that heritage in ways that promote public appreciation of the past, stimulate heritage tourism and fuel local economic development. HGN continues to promote the development of the Pine River Switchyard and to “switch” that unused space into something exciting, educational and attractive, “switching” some seemingly lost and disconnected projects (the Depot, Caboose, and Fire Engine, etc) into core village icons. HGN’s goal is to “switch on” the public’s attention to the need for and interest in a local history center, showcasing the past and bringing the area’s rich history into the future.
The Depot Plan is on-going, ever evolving into an even greater center, as donations of significant artifacts, pictures and historical information has continued. The completion of the first phase included construction of a full basement and foundation structure, moving and turning the depot to its present location, adequate electrical, climate control systems, fire protection and a security system.
Heritage Group North has restored the interior of the Depot, and on-going work continues toward converting the old freight room into a fully functioning interpretive center.