The railroad's first track ran forty-six miles from Turtle Lake, Wisconsin, to Bruce, Wisconsin. It opened for business in June 1884, leasing connecting track from Turtle Lake to Minneapolis from another railroad, the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha. In 1887, the Minneapolis, Sault Ste. Marie and Atlantic Railroad reached the port of Sault Ste. Marie, allowing grain and flour to be shipped directly from Minneapolis to eastern markets by rail for the first time. Previously, Minneapolis and the surrounding area were at a disadvantage, since Chicago- and Milwaukee-based railroads controlled access to markets in the East. The Minneapolis, Sault Ste. Marie and Atlantic Railroad broke their stranglehold and set rates more favorable to farmers and millers of the Upper Midwest.
Tim Reid : When Howard got in trouble for one of his comments— about Alvin Garrett , I guess it was—he was just emotionally destroyed by that. I was with him the following year or something, and he was wondering how I was going to respond to him, because it hadn’t been that long. But he was interviewing me, and he was telling me off-camera how emotional it had been, and that he felt so bad. But we were joking together during the interview, so during the interview I said, “Oh, Howard, you little monkey, you…” He lost it. I just remember that laugh and the look on his face, and then he said something like, “Touché!”