Tracy Public Library
Tracy has had a library in various locations since 1880. The library has been located in its current two-room downtown site since the late 1980s. Readers will find more than 14,000 items, including periodicals, videos, books on tape and CD's.
The library has five computers for public use. There is no fee for computer usage, however there is a 25¢ per page fee for printouts. Internet access is available. Students in kindergarten through grade six can participate in a summer reading program at the library starting in June.
The Tracy Public Library is part of the Plum Creek Library System. There are many advantages to being part of a library system.
Staff: One librarian.
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Across the Prairie Museum
Our signature attraction is our four-unit freight train. The engine is a 1915 American locomotive used in the yard of the St. Paul railroad system. The engine and the coal car were sold to a private owner in Rochester, MN and later sold again to the museum site. To complement the engine we were able to obtain an immigrant box car from the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad and finally added the caboose which is the rolling workstation.
To make the picture complete we found an original CNW depot from Volga, SD. Our train exhibit is also highlighted by the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder who took her first train ride from Walnut Grove to Tracy in the 1880's. Mrs. Wilder details the event in her book, By the Shores of Silver Lake. Tracy is also mentioned as a rail center in the book, The Long Winter.
As villages grew in the late 1800's, our `village' has also grown. The Wheels Across the Prairie's buildings are real. The school house is furnished with genuine artifacts, the barber shop, summer kitchen and the post office are authentic. Replica buildings are the 1930 cottage and the chapel. The collections are period pieces. We showcase some of the collections we own in the different buildings such as tractors, a wild bird collection, a car and various machinery.
One of our latest exhibits is the 1860's Lowe log cabin, it came to us from the former Great Oasis Lake area in Murray County. It was unusual for its time but reflected the hopes of the Lowe family that it would be the beginning of a new community. It was planned to not only house the family, but to be used for church services and school classes. Unfortunately, the village never materialized.
The Monroe Township Town Hall building was a town hall in 1890 that was moved two miles west on Highway 14 to replace a school house that had burned down. It was used as a schoolhouse, known as the Muedeking School, and Pleasant View School, until 1954. At that time, District 417 absorbed all country schools into the district. The town hall continues to function as an active part of the grassroots government in session, even though it has been moved to the museum property. We hope to share with our guests the political aspects of township, county, and state legislative processes.
St. Marks Episcopal Church building was moved to our site, from its foundation at the corner of Second and Center Streets on Dec. 4, 2006. The Church was originally built on the southwest corner of Fourth and Rowland streets in 1901. The structure was moved to the lot at Second and Center streets in 1937. The museum board is very excited to have the Church as a permanent structure!
"Mary Lou's Garden" was added the spring of 2007 in memory of Mary Lou Ludeman, one of the charter members of the Wheels Board and long time curator.
We have several exciting and interesting displays and buildings that tell many stories of our area at the Wheels Across the Prairie Museum! Our volunteers are available to answer questions and help guide you through local history.
Staff: Volunteers from the community
Hours: 1-5pm, Memorial Day through Labor Day Week-end. Special Labor Day Week-end hours are: Fri., Sat., & Sun. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. and Monday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., or by request
Art Peterson, President (507-629-4715)
Tracy Community Band
directed by Clint Peterson
Tracy's Community Band is made up of talented musicians from the surrounding area. They play at many of the local functions: Burgers and Bands in May, Memorial Day Program, local parades, Box Car Days, sometimes joining with the local high school band in a concert.
Information: Clint Peterson, 507-629-4715.
Fine Arts Council of Tracy
PO Box 1111, Tracy MN 56175, or contact Chris Schons, 507-629-4245.
The Tracy Fine Arts Council was organized in 2000 and has made available, to the Tracy area, many art exhibits by local people. FACT has sponsored many Children's Theater productions by Prairie Fire Theater Company. Two annual events are "Celebration in Song" held in January at St. Mary's Catholic Church, featuring the church pipe organ and "Arts in the Afternoon" in April, featuring local high school talent from speech, and choir, and local adult talent with story/poetry readings and elementary students showing off their story telling or musical talent. FACT will continue sponsoring future community plays/musicals. FACT also co-sponsors the Fine Arts Awards Banquet at Tracy Area High School, and continues to encourage the growth of the Arts in our rural setting.
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