World’s Shortest Interstate
Sunday, February 8, 2004
The world’s shortest interstate streetcar line used to run between Wahpeton and Breckenridge. The route was .14 miles long, transported about 750 passengers a day, and ran from 1910 to 1925. It traveled about 15-20 miles per hour and provided one of the earliest means of traveling between the two towns. A few pieces of the rail are still visible in the sidewalk outside the streetcar garage that still stands in Breckenridge. There were always two streetcars running simultaneously; a round-trip loop took 30 minutes.
On weekend evenings, business picked up as passengers made their way to dances or movies across the river. The fare was 5¢, then later 7¢, but they say the company was mostly financed by Breckenridge liquor joints. North Dakota was dry at that time, but Breckenridge had 11 bars and dancehalls.
One of those nightspots was aptly named The First and Last Chance Saloon.
Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm