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Mentone on the Valley Line .

Mentone on the Valley Line

In modern times, there is a siding built 3 years ago called Whit
where County Highway GG crosses the CN/ WC tracks on the Valley Line,
west (by the compass) of Port Edwards, Wisconsin.
Whit is west of the county road.

Ray W of Wisconsin Rapids emailed me a question:
I thought you might know a question I have.
The crossing at County Road GG was called Mentone Crossing by everyone in the area when I was growing up. Nobody seemed to know why now that I thought about it, and anyone who might is long gone. I searched the internet and found out a lot of interesting history of the rail from Nekoosa Junction to Tomah and how it and cranberry culture that I was researching at the time were intertwined, since it was how the mail was deliverd prior to HWY 173.


I didnt' know anything about Mentone. So I asked on the yahoo groups MILW and wisrail.
And learned Mentone was a rail spur that was just east of this road crossing.
Fortunately, while I was near Whit last year, I turned around and took extra pictures and unknowingly recorded what's left of Mentone.

Picture below is looking east from County Highway GG.. . . . Milepost 40.

Re: Mentone on the Valley Line
Mentone was a siding that existed for many years on the Valley Line,
but was listed in old timetables as an Industrial track,
located 3.5 miles west of Cranmoor or about 4 miles east of Nekoosa Junction.
(and note that timetable east and west are almost west and east by the compass for this stretch of track)
The last timetable I have listing Mentone is LaCrosse, Twin City Terminal and Aberdeen Divisions Joint Timetable #2, of June 10, 1973,
and Mentone is shown as having a capacity of 6 cars.
By the next timetable of these divisions, #3, of December 1, 1974,
industrial tracks were not shown, and even the station name of Cranmoor had been removed from the timetable.
Verne Brummel, yahoo/group/MILW/message/77362

Pole camera picture of current day Mentone. The switch would have been on this end, and the short spur was on the north / left side.


Here's some email:

Just a guess, but I went to college with a guy by the name of Pat Mentone; so Mentone Crossing may have been named for a family with the surname Mentone that lived near this crossing. Mike

(The funny thing about this area is not much shows up on old maps that would suggest there was a town or village, not even a bunch of houses.)

Hello, saw your message on Wisrail and did a little searching. I am guessing that Mentone was once the name of a village at that location. There were many small villages in Wisconsin that have disappeared. Is there a church, country school or cemetery in that area? Those are often markers of where a village once was. Further to the west on maps is shown 'Cranmoor' which on an old map is shown as 'Bearss Station'
I am sending some things I found . . . (from old newspaper files) Joe Wyse
(I think Joe has good access to public library data, read on.)


Looking east, there's a curved saddle foundation for a horizontal storage tank.


Mentone aerial photo, 1938. One boxcar in a siding. Squint really hard to see it. The switch is on the west end by the compass, east end by the timetable.
And there are very few buildings for miles around here. Usually, an old village would have something show on an old photo, but there aren't any here.


From Joe's research:

Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune - August 11, 1956, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
2 Boys Confess Fouling Switch.
Two boys, 10 and 12, admitted Friday to railroad and county police that they placed an angle bar in a Milwaukee Road switch at the Mentone station Thursday 'just to see what would happen.' Sheriff Arthur E. Berg said today that the matter is being referred to juvenile authorities for disposition.
Apprehension of the two youths was made by J. F. Altenbern, La Crosse, captain of railroad police, who informed them that tampering with or in any way interfering with railroad operations is a severe federal offense.
Berg, Altenbern and Undersheriff Rueben L. Crotteau split up Friday and carried on separate investigations in the Mentone (town of Cranmoor) area. The youths told authorities that they had gone swimming Thursday and found the angle bar, which they placed in the switch. A west-bound train ran over the bar Thursday afternoon.
If the train had been going eastward, Berg said, there would have been a serious derailment. The youths told him they did not know how much damage they could have caused by their prank.


Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Friday, February 7, 1936 page 1
Trains Delayed by Derailment Near Nekoosa.
All service on the Milwaukee road was held up from 5 o'clock last night to about noon today as the result of a wreck at Mentone, cranberry loading station south of Nekoosa. A truck on one car of a freight train bound for Wisconsin Rapids broke, derailing the car. A wrecker was summoned from La Crosse. But the damage had been repaired before it came. The passenger trains due here at 5:40 last night and at 6:15 o'clock this morning were both held up at Babcock.


another message:

As the name Cranmoor suggests, crated Cranberries were once shipped in carload lots from this spur. I think that it and possibly Mentone too, were removed when we relaid rail and generaly got the line ready for coal trains to Weston. I grew up in Cranberry country and that industry has changed immensly over the years but, thats another subject. L.Shisler yahoo/group/MILW/message/77367

Cranmoor, 1938. About 16 boxcars in siding. Squint real hard to count them.
Look for yourself at a modern map to see the changes in the cranberry bogs.


For a different view of this area, see Whit from last year

The 1938 aerial maps are on the Wisconsin Historic Aerial Images finder website

I have gone back to an old photo program to get smaller file sizes for pictures for a web page.
Some might get blurry if you zoom in a lot. But it saves space for the server and downloads very fast.
If you want the full size picture, please contact me. An e-address is in the box on my index page.

Link back to my index page, Bruce's RailRoad Pictures

my best index page is on the TrainWeb site, as of January 2011.

This page was wrote in July, 2012.