The Marquette Depot Museum celebrates the town's railroad history with exhibits of historic railroad artifacts from the 1800's. Marquette was originally incorporated as North McGregor in 1874, and it served as a railroad terminus for its southern neighbor. The city became a major hub on the railroad, as grain from throughout Iowa and Minnesota was sent through the city en route to Lake Michigan. Initially trains had to be ferried across the river between Marquette and Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, in order to continue their journey, but this system came to an end when Prairie du Chien businessman John Lawler had a permanent pontoon bridge built to connect the two cities' rail lines. Marquette subsequently became home to a major rail yard, which even as late as 1920 was the busiest in Iowa, employing 400 people. Not too long afterwards, the railroad's significance declined, the last passenger train stopped in Marquette in 1960, and the pontoon bridge was disassembled in 1961.
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