A group of local businessmen saw a need for a locally-owned and independent bank in the city of Virginia, Minnesota and went to work to make it become a reality. Because of their efforts, the Northern State Bank of Virginia opened its doors for business in May of 1966. Since the beginning, the Northern State Bank has always tried to be like a good neighbor, concerned about our community and ready to help however we could. We have an interest in the future of our area because this is our home and the home of the people that work here. We are a locally-owned bank with a personal touch, and feel that you should be able to talk face to face with the people that make the decisions. The directors, officers, and employees look forward to helping you with all of your banking needs.
History of our Building
DULUTH, WINNIPEG & PACIFIC RAILWAY COMPANY
1913 - 1961
Shortly after the turn of the century, the boom town of Virginia, Minnesota watched the construction of the DWP’s railroad passenger depot. The three story, orange sandstone and brick building was constructed on pilings and concrete by the Baily & Marsh Company in 1913. Situated at the most westerly end of Chestnut Street, the beautifully designed structure sported a galvanized shingle roof and was heated by wood and coal. The interior woodwork on the ground floor was of oak hardwood with birch on the second level. Hardware throughout consisted of brass and bronze. Two porcelain drinking fountains stood in its two waiting rooms. The interior of the building was illuminated by eleven chandeliers and the exterior by cornice lights.
Modifications came when steam heat improved the comfort of the building in 1919; in 1923 an electric station sign was erected; and in 1947 a concrete platform replaced the original wood platform. In 1960 the third floor “eagle’s nest” was improved to house the DWP’s dispatchers and one of them remembers the bats that used to come back for a visit.
The original layout of the building was designed to serve many purposes. The far left door opened into the baggage room and the Railway Express Agency office. Another door led to the stairway for the second floor. The center door opened into the general waiting room where the ticket agent greeted passengers. The waiting room consisted of two rooms - one for the men and the other for the ladies (heresay claims men did not want their women waiting in the same room with the lumberjacks). The second door from the right served as the ladies private entry into their waiting room. The office on the far right was the roadmaster’s office. On the second floor, the DWP’s general office had center windows giving the office workers a bird’s eye view of Chestnut Street. Employees remember Chestnut Street as “the drag” during the 1940's and 1950's, and the kids would use the turn-around in front of the depot to make their next trip down the street. The superintendent’s office was on the far right. At one time, a large pine stood in the turn-around at the front of the depot and at Christmas time the railroad expressed their spirit of the season by lavishly decorating the tree.
From the rear or track side of the station, one could overlook Silver Lake, the generating plant of the Virginia Municipal Heat & Light Company, the log pond, the log unloading docks, and sawmills No. 2 and No. 3 of the Virginia Rainy Lake Lumber Company.
Over the years, Virginia, Minnesota saw booming growth from the rich lumber stands and iron ore deposits in the region. During this time, several passenger trains served the Virginia depot. These trains consisted of a steam locomotive, one or two merchandise cars, a mail car, a Railway Express Agency car, a coach and a sleeper. In the very early days, the “Lumberjack” train ran roundtrip from Virginia to Cusson, hauling lumberjacks and merchandise to their appointed rounds. Later, the depot served passengers for DWP’s Train No. 5 and 6. Old-timers say these trains were so regular that the citizens of Virginia would check their watches and children knew it was time to head home when the train whistle blew at ten o’clock.
In 1957, steam locomotion ended and passenger service was reduced to a singular rail diesel Budd Car. July 1, 1961 marked the end of the passenger train era for the DWP, as well as the need for the Virginia passenger station. The Virginia passenger station still stands today at the foot of Chestnut Street and is now the Northern State Bank of Virginia.
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