This geocache is part of the West Bend GeoTour:
Twenty geocaches have been hidden throughout our historic city that highlight the best of West Bend in any season!
To earn a geocoin, teams must pick up a West Bend GeoTour Passport from the Chamber of Commerce (preferred method) or download a passport. Collect 25 points as detailed in the passport. See complete details at visitwestbend.com/geocaching-2.
Remember to record the password from this cache in your GeoTour Passport!
GeoTour Stop #4: Art Museum & Historic Train Depot
At this stop on the GeoTour, West Bend's Culture, Industry, and Recreation all intersect.
The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA), established in 1961, is one of the top regional art museums in the country. It is the primary venue nationally for the exhibition of historic and contemporary Wisconsin art, including holdings of more than 300 artists, over 4,000 works of art, and a sizeable archive/ library. Each year, MOWA presents 12–14 exhibitions, numerous ongoing educational and public programs targeted to all ages and interests, and a series of special events.
In April 2013, MOWA celebrated a major milestone with the opening of a new building on the Milwaukee River that doubled the gallery square footage and expanded its capacity to offer public programs and educational activities. The new triangular-shaped building is one-of-a-kind, and since opening has been honored with several awards for its unique and modern architecture, including the 2014 Honor Award for Design Excellence from the American Institute of Architects. For more information visit MOWA.
The West Bend Depot is the only surviving example of a C&NW combination depot of its type in the state of Wisconsin, and it's listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Historic West Bend Depot was built in 1900 and restored in 2009-2010.
The West Bend area began settlement in the mid-1800's, and as the Washington County seat, it became a center for government and business. In 1873, the Northwestern Union Railroad completed a rail line through West Bend, connecting Milwaukee and Fond du Lac. In 1893, it became the Chicago and North Western Railway (C&NW). The first station was built, and many businesses thrived, such as a grain elevator, stores, a brewery, malting house, canning company, lumber company, Gehl Manufacturing, West Bend Aluminum, Amity Leather, and many more. West Bend became known as "The City of Varied Industries." With such an economic boom from these industries, a new station was built in 1900 which still stands today.
The C&NW was also a passenger train, making regular stops in West Bend, four trains in each direction Monday through Saturday, and two trains on Sunday. During WWII, both civilians and troops regularly used the train. In fact, on August 9, 1934, even President Franklin D Roosevelt stopped at this West Bend Depot with huge crowds gathering at the train station to watch him arrive. The passenger service stopped in April of 1971, and the station closed in 1983. By 2000, the depot was abandoned. A few years later, the land was bought by the State of Wisconsin and the rails were taken out and the path was converted to the 25-mile Eisenbahn Bike Trail.
The depot is now home to the Ozaukee-Washington Land Trust who are very friendly to geocachers. Feel free to walk inside during business hours, and you may get a little tour of the Depot with old photos of its heyday.
The Geocache: You are looking for a micro container. This cache is available any season. Permission was granted to hide this cache. **The Geocache Notification Form has been submitted to the Southeast Regional Headquarters of the Wisconsin DNR.