Historic Depot

Old Train Depot

Partners for a Healthy Wadena Region

Partners for a Healthy Wadena Region (Partners) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation with a mission to encourage, support, and assist efforts that enhance a vibrant and welcoming Wadena.

The Partners recognize that no one person alone can make the major efforts to improve a community or a region. For this reason, this organization strives to implement its mission by providing opportunities for input and participation to determine how to proactively address critical issues facing the future of the community and area.

In years past, Partners assisted with the renovation of The Depot and supported the streetscape project that brought decorative Art Deco designed street lamps to Wadena's downtown, as well as Art Deco inspired city signs. Among their other projects was a three-year business development support project that assisted entrepreneurs in possible business start-ups and expansions ended in 2006.

These successful initial projects drew on the work, skills and financial contributions of many local businesses, individuals and community organizations.
For more information, contact Email Partners

Partners Mission

To increase opportunities for a healthy life for all who live, work and play in the Wadena area

~ By assisting in the continued preservation and betterment of the Wadena area
~ By supplementing the effort of government in this pursuit

Contact Partners

100 Aldrich Ave. S.W.
P.O. Box 335
Wadena, MN 56482
(218) 632-5999
Email Partners

Partners Board of Directors


Cheryl Bannes

Cultural Center of New York Mills

Lina Belar

Wadena County Historical Society

Dana Cantleberry

Wadena Area Chamber of Commerce

Mayor George Deiss

City of Wadena & Wadena Concert Assn.

Vicki Chepulis

Five Wings Arts Council

Toni Ebner


Lora Foust

Madhatters Community Theatre & Wadena Garden Club

Jamie Robertson

Whiskey Creek Film Festival

Kent Scheer

Green Island Preserve

Kent Schmidt

Wadena-Deer Creek School Board

Wadena Historic Depot Restoration

In 2007 Partners embarked on two more major projects: the complete restoration of the historic Wadena train depot and the development of a program to strengthen heritage tourism. The Depot Visitors Center and railroad museum opened in 2008 restoring its former presence in the center of town. Built in 1915 and listed on the National of Historic Places, The Depot is a wonderful place to view historic depot photographs and artifacts. It is open seasonally free of charge to everyone. The Partners collaborates with the Wadena Area Convention & Visitors Bureau to provide area information and to serve as a starting point for various Wadena tours such as the Murals of MN and the Historic Building Walking Tour which are part of the tourism program. The Depot Visitors Center is also available for rent and can be used for wedding receptions, showers, trainings, meetings and various parties, fundraisers or celebrations.

A new program now being developed in 2010 is an interactive exhibit that shares stories told by former railroad employees and others who came and went from this depot. In Wadena's early history, people came to and left from this depot that connected Wadena to the larger world. The beautiful city park surrounding it became the center of the community life, and continues to be the site of band concerts, community dinners, the farmer's market, festivals and family picnics. It is also a great place for rail fans to do train spotting with 75-85 trains per day providing plenty of photo opportunities.

The restoration of the 1916 bandstand situated in front of The Depot is a project that was completed jointly with the City of Wadena during 2009 and 2010. The community enjoys being able to once again use the "off-limits" structure.

Projects, programs and activities taken on by Partners are strategically selected. They require partnerships locally and many on the state and federal levels. The long-term intention is to to develop Wadena and the region as a place people want to live, to expand or start-up a business or to bring a family to live.

One organization cannot do it all but if a team of committed generous community members are willing to work together the possibilities are endless. The Partners is located at The Depot.

Contributions to current projects and volunteers are always welcome.

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Train Depot