WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     westbrook    Murray County Museum Coordinator Janet Timmerman gave a slide presentation at the recent annual meeting of the Heritage House Museum.

    The presentation was titled Hobos, Bums and Tramps. It featured photos and historical items of the Currie Branch line. She talked about the End-O-Line Museum and Park at Currie, and historical tidbits about the early years when the line was built.

    At the time, railroads were expanding rapidly from east to west. Many thought the Currie Branch line would eventually continue on to the west coast. However it soon became evident that the line would never proceed any further than Currie. Nonetheless the railroad had a big impact on the  development of the towns along the way.

    She talked about the differences of hobos and bums. It was thought that Hobos would do work as they traveled the rails, but bums would not work, living off what they could find or steal.

    She showed a slide that had signs that hobos and tramps would post at different places along the rails. Some of the signs would tell of good places to get food or shelter, others would warn of danger.

    Of course over the years many of the small branch lines were poorly maintained and eventually a lot of them were abandoned in the late seventies and early eighties.

    Linda Fransen director of the Cottonwood County Museum was on hand to show the new Christmas ornament the museum is selling as a fund raiser. She says this is the second in a series that has been started. The ornaments feature buildings in Cottonwood County that are on the National Historic Registry. Last year  the Cottonwood County Courthouse was the first to be featured. This year the ornament shows a picture of the former CNW train station in Westbrook, which now houses the Heritage House Museum.

    The ornaments are available at Bank Midwest in Westbrook.