CStPM&O & CNW
Just 2-1/2 miles north of Cobban was a siding called Hatch on some maps or called Hatch's Spur by some that still reside in the area. The spur was the work of a gentleman called George Hatch. This siding was used for shipping of logs, log bolts, cattle, pickles, beets, and other goods. There was a pickle tank on legs at the siding with a long handled pump near the river used to pump water to the pickle tank. The pickle tank burned down in the 1930's, but until then the pump was also a source of emergency water for the locomotives. The nearest tank was in Holcombe, some 25 miles north. Hatch did have a depot, but it was short lived, being abandoned in the 1920's. The map shown here would have placed Hatch's Spur at what would be called 192nd street. The siding as well as the tracks are now gone, but the memories for some still are present. Below is an excerpt from a book written by Emil Gerber regarding what he and some of his friends remember about Hatch's Siding or Hatch's Spur.
Soon after the railroad was put through Cobban, a man by the name of George Hatch saw the need of a siding, or spur about two and one-half miles north of Cobban. From there, the shipping of logs bolts, cattle, pickles and other goods were loaded out on rails, either on or in the railroad cars, and transferred to their destination. I though my memory was telling me that I recall a Water Tank there for filling the locomotive, but here again by checking this out I was told that what I remembered was a pickle tank on legs. W.G. & H.P. This all burned down in the early 1930's. Pickles were a dependable crop for extra money for several years, during the twenties. The Spur was built in 1904. A log buyer from the Cadott area by the name of Tilden bought the timber in that area. W.G Louie Blanchard contracted to furnish the logs to Mr. Hatch for loading from this Spur. Bob LeMay recalls shipping some cattle out of that Spur also, possibly the last one to use it. The Station was a short lived adventure. It was nearly abandoned in the late 1920's. I recall the long handled water pump for pumping water from the Spring into the pickle tank. The train crew would stop occasionally to pump water into their locomotive when they were getting low on water. The main water tank was in Holcombe. By the time the service from Cornell to Holcombe was discontinued (1943), the Diesel locomotive was in use, so no longer was a water tank needed.
The Ed LeMay farm was just north and west of Hatch's Spur. Ed was an old logger by trade, although his logging was in the far north Chippewa County and Rusk County, he was well known in the Cobban area.
Also, close to Hatch's Spur was the large farm to the east. This farm was owned by Mr. Cohen. I believe he was the owner of the Cohen Store in Cornell. There is not much left of this farm now, but in those years it was quite a big operation.
Courtesy of Emil Gerber from the book "Memories of Cobban".
Train Wreck at Blanchard's Crossing dated December 11, 1937
From the Chippewa Falls Newspaper, December 11, 1937
If you have any new information, stories, corrections, or pictures regarding this or any of the other towns along the Hannibal branch line, Please let me know, < E-mail > along with your permission to publish your personal memories in an attempt to keep the history available for future generations. Non-digital pictures will be returned upon request.
Thanks, Doug Stoll