Minneapolis & St. Louis #457 History
American Locomotive Company of Schenectady, N.Y. built the 457 for the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad at a cost of $18,456.03. The Consolidation type locomotive served 38 years for the M&StL, used in freight, passenger, and switching service throughout Minnesota and Iowa.
M&StL was retired and sold to American Crystal Sugar Company, Mason City, IA.
American Crystal Sugar Company retired the M&StL, giving it to the Children of Mason City, IA. The Mason City Noon Rotary Club sponsored moving it to East Park with the help of The Milwaukee R.R., and was named "Rotary Cannonball" in a contest won by 8 year old Marcia Combs.
Leo T. Danehy, retired Great Western R.R. switchman, served as a dedicated attendant and educator for the Rotary Cannonball. In the ensuing years, rust, vandalism, and neglect took its toll on the engine.
Louis "Gene" Green, historian, author, and railroad enthusiast, began work and started a volunteer campaign to restore and preserve the Rotary Cannonball. Contact Mason City City Hall to volunteer.
The restored M&StL Rotary Cannonball, was dedicated in East Park. The "Roof the Cannonball" campaign began for provision of a shelter. Many grants and private donations funded the campaign. The 457 Cannonball began weekend open hours with volunteer help.
The first annual "Cannonball Day" was held the 4th Saturday of June in East Park to showcase and raise funds to maintain the Rotary Cannonball.
The Train Shed shelter and brick platform for the 457 Rotary Cannonball was dedicated. Plans for the Interpretive Stand began.
This Interpretive Stand was completed for use by the public for education and historical interest.
The Friends of the 457 work in conjunction with the Mason City Parks Department to care for this important display related to the heritage of Mason City.
Your generous donation or volunteer help will help with the restoration and preservation of the 457 Cannonball.
- 169 Tons
- 15.5 Ft.
- 67 Ft.
- 10.5 Ft.
Coal - 12 Tons
Water - 6,500 Gal.
Operating Steam Pressure 185 Lbs.
Listen to the real sounds of a steam locomotive.
Press the RED
button to hear the authentic 457 Nathan 5-chime whistle.
Press the GREEN
button to hear the bell, steam and engine sounds.
Press the YELLOW
button to hear the story of the M. & St. L. 457.
[Captions, from left to right, read]
The M. & St. L. 457 at the American Crystal Sugar Plant, Mason City, IA
The Rotary Cannonball in 2002
M&StL Steam Locomotive 2-8-0 "Consolidation" being moved into East Park August 31, 1959
Minneapolis & St. Louis RR System Map - Circa 1952
The Minneapolis & St Louis 457 Cannonball in 2006
"Depot" style shelter and platform completed in 2007