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Orchard Gardens Station 1990sThis earlier photo of Orchard Gardens Station shows the name appearing on the building.

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Orchard Garden StationPhoto following the re-painting of the historic landmark.
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Dille sketch of Orchard GardensThis rendering of the old Orchard Gardens railroad station is painted by Burnsville resident June Dille. The station was used by those who commuted between the area and Minneapolis on the Dan Patch line.
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Orchard Gardens Station 2017Earlier photos show a sign with the words ORCHARD GARDENS attached to the building. In 2017 that sign no longer appears.
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Orchard Gardens Station railroad signal 2017A rusted unused railroad signal remains at the once used tracks at Orchard Gardens.
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Rail tracks at Orchard Gardens 2017The once used tracks at Orchard Gardens are overgrown with brush.
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Orchard Gardens Station 2017A full view of the station, once used tracks and signal from
Co. Rd. 5.
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Orchard Gardens Railroad signal 2017Two "railroad signals" remain at the tracks, one without lights the other with. Both are rusted with age.
Orchard_Gardens_commuters.pdf
Orchard Gardens Station commutersBy JUNE DILLE
There were originally three rail­road stations serving our communi­ty.
The Whittier, remembered by some as Foley’s station, was lo­cated in the vicinity of the Burnsville Lumber Company, the Oakdale Station was near the “tres­ tle” or underpass by Orchard Lake and the Orchard Garden “depot”, on what is now County Road 5.
The latter is the only station that still stands and the only thing that has not changed in this expanding countryside.
The Orchard Gardens depot was built in 1919 by the Minneapolis, Northfield and Southern Railroad for commuters who used the Dan Patch line as their link with the big city.
Through the years it has come perilously close to being destroyed and it is to the credit of various local residents and organizations that it has been preserved.

What a place it once was! Every­one used it, and for every con­ceivable purpose. . . the chicken farmers, the gardeners, the apple growers and the dairy farmers.
It was used by commuters to Minneapolis to go to work, or by some simply for a shopping trip to “town.” The flower growers used it daily to bring their beautiful blooms to the large stores in the city.

It is said that once 36 boxcars were filled to the brim with onions to be sold to the city markets from Orchard Gardens Station.
Apples of all varieties waited for Dan Patch trains, bushels and bushels of them, to go to markets in St. Paul and Minneapolis to be shipped to all comers of the Midwest and beyond.
The milk wagons once waited there, too. Later, some of us waited there for the school bus to take us to high school, first in Bloomington, then Farmington, and finally to

Lakeville, as the school districts changed and expanded.
A man died in that station, some recall, and could not be moved until he was identified, nor did the train move until he was properly cared for. Such were the ways in those slower paced times.
All of us use the station now, as then, to direct friends and relatives to our homes north, south, east and west of that small depot.
It is one of the few remaining landmarks of a bygone era and some of us hope it will remain untouched by progress.

(Editor’s Note: The preceding story, written by the late June Dille, is included in “ Burnsville 76, A Community History,” copies of which may be purchased at $10 each from the Burnsville Chapter of the Dakota County Historical Socie­ty.)
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orchard_garden_repair.pdf
Old Station (Orchard Gardens) get new look 1983The June 16, 1983 Dakota County Tribune reports on the Skyblazer's 4H Club of Burnsville and Lakeville chose the beautification of the Orchard Gardens Station as their annual service project. It was built in 1910.
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Orchard Garden StationAnother view of the historic Orchard Garden Station.
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Orchard Garden StationAnother view of the historic Orchard Garden Station depot.
Orchard_Lake_fr_1976_History.pdf
Orchard Gardens
         
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