Zachow Depot Museum

Zachow Depot Museum

“I encourage everyone to visit the depot if you ever are in the area. It is an amazing experience to walk into what appears to be a fully active C&NW depot from 1949. It is then a real thrill to enter the freight room to find a museum-quality N scale model of the town of Zachow as it looked in 1949. For fans of the C&NW, fine scale modeling, or local history, this experience is not to be missed.” -Keith Kohlmann, C&NWHS


524 N. Franklin Street
Shawano, WI 54166
Phone: (715) 526-3323
Free admission: Saturdays, June through August, 10am – 2pm

Located within the Shawano County Historical Society’s Heritage Park

Museum Highlights

  • Listen to an “operating” railroad telegraph
  • Experience the 1949 Village of Zachow diorama
  • Hear an interactive sound system of the diorama
  • View typical items from that era on a freight platform
  • Examine a 1901 style railroad outhouse
  • See a 1906 era American Express Co. freight cart

Zachow Depot History

The Zachow Depot was built in Heritage Park in 2011 by the Shawano County Historical Society-Zachow Historic Commitee.  It’s a replica of the C&NW Standard No. 3 depot built in Zachow Wisconsin in 1906.

One of 44 such depots built by the Chicago & Northwestern Railway in the Midwest in the early 1900’s, it was built in response to the growth of the farm industry in Shawano County.

There was a strong need for the stockyard and depot as receiving points of cattle and farm equipment being shipped by rail.

W.C. Zachow was the largest shipper in the area and moved his cattle and farm equipment business from Cecil, WI to Zachow after the Chicago & North Western Railway expanded its route from Green Bay to Eland, Wisconsin.

The nationally-acclaimed Zachow Depot is more than a perfect replica of the late 1920’s Zachow train depot.

The depot is representative of an “operating depot” in the 20’s-30’s and features an “operating” telegraph key and sounder to provide some ambiance during your visit.

Zachow Diorama

If you visit the Zachow Depot you’ll see a detailed diorama of the Village of Zachow as it looked in 1949.

There were several modelers and a layout person involved in the diorama project.  The structural modelers were;

Lead Modeler – John Dornfeld: Depots by John, Milwaukee WI.
Modeler – Jim Rindt: Relics by Rindt Sheboygan, WI.
Layout – Chris Comport, Merrill, WI.

John Dornfield and Jim Rindt completed the 46 buildings used in the diorama while Chris Comport applied his talents to the overall layout, using aerial photographs from 1949.  The Diorama was finished in 2013, just in time for the Depot Dedication July 13th.  The diorama took eight years to complete after its start in 2005.

Zachow Diorama Photos

Listed below is a collection of diorama photos that highlight the detail and professionalism of the modelers.  Many of these were taken before the diorama was enclosed in glass and demonstrate in close-up detail, the quality of their work.

Contact Us

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