About the GNRHS
Recruitment Letter and then
Join the GNRHS!
If you have an interest in one of America's great railroads -- James J. Hill's
empire-building Great Northern Railway -- then you should join the Great
Northern Railway Historical Society. The Society was founded by Charles F.
Martin in 1973 under the name "The Fraternal Order of Empire
Builders", and it was dedicated to the preservation of everything
related to the Great Northern Railway.
In 1982 the Society name became "The Great Northern Railway Historical
Society". With this name change the Society also became chartered under
the not-for-profit laws of the State of Illinois, and acquired tax exempt status
from the Federal government under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the
Internal Revenue Code.
Under the original name of "The Fraternal Order of Empire Builders",
journals containing facts, photographs, drawings and general information
relating to the Great Northern Railway and its predecessor companies were
published. With the revised name, The Great Northern Railway Historical
Society (GNRHS) continues that tradition.
Each quarterly issue of the GNRHS "GOAT" normally contains
eight pages of general information and society affairs, new member lists, member
sales and want items, and books/videos listings of subjects related to the GN
and its pre/post merger corporate identities. Issues include 40 to 60 additional
pages within separately stapled titles known as Reference
Sheets. Each issue of the "GOAT" contains a section of pages
dedicated to GN modeling matters of interest. December issues have a complete
listing of prior published Reference
Sheets available for purchase, with pricing and ordering instructions.
The September issue contains the annual Great Northern photo calendar, with
additional notations and facts about significant GN related dates. The March
issue includes details and registration forms for the forthcoming GNRHS
annual conventions. The Convention is hosted in a city which received GN service
and business. Conventions are held usually over a four-day period in July.
Typical convention activity includes discussions, clinics, movies and slide
presentations, tours of former GN facilities, on occasion (as the opportunity
arises) a train excursion, a well attended swap-meet-mixer (Rail Fair), the
usual old fashioned visiting with friends and GN experts, and a convention
closing banquet with speaker and door prizes.
The Society sponsors a special freight car kit each year. For those of you who
enjoy badges and lapel pins, we have those items also.
Materials published normally come from the private collections of our authors or
general members, and from the various depositories or museums known to contain
GN records. All materials loaned for use in our publications are returned to the
sender, and appropriate credit is published. No payment can be offered for
manuscripts, but reimbursement of photographic, reproduction or other copying
expenses may be made for those items which have been approved in advance by the
text or layout editors.
We invite you to join us by completing the GNRHS
Membership Application on this web page. We have about 2400 members who hope
you will join our ranks of Great Northern enthusiasts. Current dues rates are
shown. Sustaining dues, at $20(US) per year, are purely an extra contribution
you may wish to give to GNRHS, and nothing extra is received in return
for this except the satisfaction of additional financial help to the GNRHS.
You may pay dues and sustaining payments for any number of years into the
A membership year covers the months January to December, and includes all issues
of the "GOAT", and any extra items published during that year.
We look forward to receiving and processing your GNRHS
Membership Application, and to your active participation as a member of GNRHS.