RRHX

  Mining reaches high gear; interurbans begin to ribbon the landscape...

Michigan's Internet Railroad History Museum

 

1890 - 1899

Key:

  • Railroad event or related event in Michigan

  • Important non-railroad event in Michigan or outside.

  • Improvement in Technology         Mining.

  • Railroad built or extended

  • Railroad abandoned and/or removed

  • Economic panic or depression        Car ferries.

 

Info Sources

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1830's

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1890's

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1890's

Overview

  • F&PM and Chicago & West Michigan use break-bulk boat service from Holland, Manistee, and Ludington - all going to Milwaukee during this decade.  Before 1900, the C&WM operated the Shenango No. 2, a car ferry,  between Muskegon and Milwaukee.  It was moved to Ludington after the merger in 1900.   [COHS-8/1997]
  • Commercial lumber manufacturing reaches its peak in the 1890's and is over by 1910.  From 1870 to 1900 Michigan led the nation in lumber production.  [BOM]
  • Resort life in northern Michigan reaches its  heydey between 1990 and 1910 when the summer cottage, hotel and clubhouses became very popular.  Passenger traffic boomed during the summer months to bring people from urban cities to these resorts. [BOM]

1890
  • January 1:  Wisconsin and Michigan opens line from Fisher to Faithorn Jct.  [MRRC]

  • April 1:  The Wisconsin Central (1st) surrendered its Gogebic & Montreal River Railroad between Ironwood and Bessemer and branches to the Northern Pacific for 99 years.  Three years later, the NP goes into receivership and the lease is revoked with the line returning to the WC.  [SOO-W/1996]

  • July 8:  First Chicago & West Michigan passenger train into Traverse City.  [MDOT]

  • August 4:  Indiana & Lake Michigan completes line from St. Joseph to South Bend.  [MRC]

  • December 1:  Detroit City Railway becomes the Detroit Street Railway.  [DWS]

  • December 31:  Michigan Railroad Mileage Totaled 6,957 miles.   [MDOT]


  • Tower 1 in Kalamazoo placed in service.   [IT-12/79]

  • Michigan Central builds depot at Lawton.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • Michigan's first interurban, the Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor began operating.  Pulled by a steam engine, the cars went west on Packard Road to the Ann Arbor city limits.  [MHM]

  • Early 1890's: The Jennings & Northeastern Railway is built over sixty miles extending from Lake City to Kalkaska.  [MRC-09/88]

  • Ann Arbor Street Railway Co. opens line in Ann Arbor.  [MRRC]

  • Work begins on the Iron Range and Huron Bay, beginning at "Huron Bay", on Lake Superior and heading towards Champion.  Completed in 1895.  [MSL]

  • The Cincinnati, Saginaw & Mackinaw (later GTW) opens 54 miles of track between Durand to Bay City through Saginaw.  [IT-10/1972/AAD]

  • The Chicago & West Michigan Railroad opens a line from Baldwin to Traverse City.  Later becomes a part of the Pere Marquette.  [PM45]

  • The Wisconsin Central (1st) lays a new connection with the Lake Shore at Ironwood in 1990 which avoided having to use their main track to transfer the ore out of the Aurora mine.  [SOO-W/1996]

  • Manistique Railway opens line to Grand Marias (approximate year).  [MRRC]

  • Burt and Gamble Lumber Co. abandons 3' gauge railroad, 7 miles long from Grand Marais southerly.Part of grade is used by the Manistique Railway.  [MRRC]

  • The Wisconsin Central (old) makes improvements at their Ironwood depot to handle the increasing business out of the Aurora Mine.  The trackage was rearranged near the depot by moving the station back and having all the trackage in front.  [SOO-W/1996]

  • The Lake Shore & Michigan Southern builds a new bridge over the River Raisin, which continues to exist today on the Michigan Southern Railroad.  [MRP-I]

  • The Michigan legislature requires cattle guards on all railroad engines.  [AAD]

  • The Ann Arbor Railroad builds a new brick and stone depot in Cadillac.  [MRP-I]

  • The Michigan Central Railroad opens a new spier and Rohns depot at Niles.  [BOM]

  • F&PM takes delivery on cross-lake boat No. 5, deployed at Ludington.  No. 5 is not a car ferry, but carries bulk-break freight.  [COHS-8/1997]

  • Hobart and Manistee River Rail Road abandons 9.2 miles from the south branch of the Manistee River to Hobart (on the GR&I).  [MRRC]

  • About 80% of all track is made of steel.  [STOV]

  • Nationally, there are 163,597 miles of railroad track.  [STOV]

  • Detroit's population has grown to 205,876.  [BOM]  ([BOM} also notes this population as of 1900).


1891
  • January 9:  Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Street Railway opens line from Ann Arbor to Ypsilanti.  [MRRC]

  • April 21:  Streetcar employees strike for 3 days against Detroit Street Railway.  Agree to return to work while demands are being arbitrated.  Agreement reached May 12.  [DWS]

  • May 15:  C&NW opens line from North Escanaba to Loop Line Jct. (branch to Iron River).  [MRRC]

  • July 15:  Potts Logging Railway is sold to the Au Sable & Northwestern Railroad.  [MRRC]

  • July 17:  Chicago and North Michigan Railroad completes line from Traverse City to Bay View (Petosky).  [MRRC]

  • July 19:  The Flint & Pere Marquette abandones its narrow-gauge line from Zion to Yale (12 miles).  [AB]

  • September 19:  World's first international submarine tunnel, the St. Clair Tunnel, was opened between Port Huron and Sarnia by the Grand Trunk system, forming a continuous rail route between eastern Canada and Chicago, the longest route in the world under single management.  The detunnel is 6,025 feet long and with approaches is 11,553 feet long.  [MDOT]

  • November:  Chicago & West Michigan completes extension north of Traverse City to Elk Rapids, 18 miles.  This includes about nine miles of a branch line from Williamsburg to Elk Rapids.  North of Williamsburg, the line has been graded for the greater part of the distance to Charlevoix and Petoskey.  The rails are now being laid.  [COHS-11/1991]


  • The Chicago & West Michigan opens a new depot at Grant.  Cost was $3,000.  In 1980, the depot was converted to a restaurant.  A water tower still stood next to the depot in 1980.  [IT-5/80]

  • Detroit Street Railway becomes Detroit Citizens Street Railway.  [DWS]

  • C&NW completes line from Crystal Falls to Hemlock Mine.  [MRRC]

  • Iron Range & Huron Bay RR began construction of a 40-mile line.  Completed 4 years later, only one locomotive was ever run on the line which was soon abandoned as a total loss!  [MDOT]

  • Four of the largest steam locomotives ever built in the U.S. up to that time were built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for use in the St. Clair Tunnel.

  • Michigan Central builds depot at Saginaw on West Genessee.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • Work begins on the Fort Street Union Depot viaduct.  It is completed on January 21, 1893.  [PM45]

  • Michigan Central builds depot at Wyandotte.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • Michigan Central builds a Spier and Rohns stone depot in Niles.  It continues to be used as an Amtrak passenger station in 1999.  [MRT-I]

  • Saginaw, Tuscola & Huron RR converts to standard gauge to eliminate the costs associated with transshipping loads of fish and quarry materials at Saginaw.   [PMHS]

  • It is noted through a photograph of the Elkhart station on the LS&MS Air Line, that the main line signal wires poles behind the station carried at least 64-wires. [LS]

  • The Flint & Pere Marquette discontinue using trackage rights on the MCRR between Wayne Jct. and Detroit, in favor of using the Detroit, Lansing & Northern line from Plymouth (the current line).  [PM45]


1892
  • Spring:  The WC (1st) lays over a mile of new track in their Tilden-Colby mine complex in the Geogebic Range.  [SOO-W/1996]

  • June 29:  First Manistee & Northeastern Railroad train into Traverse City.   [MDOT]

  • July 1:  Manistee and Northeastern opens line from Nesson City to Traverse City.  [MRRC]

  • August 22:  Jefferson streetcar line is electrified, followed by Woodward Avenue on December 15th and Mack Avenue in early 1893.  [DWS]

  • September 26:  The Chicago & West Michigan opens the Ironton Branch, from just south of Chrlevoix to Ironton, a distance of 4.08 miles.  [GM]

  • September:  The American Car & Foundry Co. is merged into the Michigan-Peninsular Car Company.  [HWC]

  • Fall:  J. D. Hawks, Chief Engineer for the Michigan Central Railroad, is appointed General Manager of the Detroit, Bay City and Alpena Railroad.  [HI]

  • December 20:  Manistee & Grand Rapids opens line from Manistee to Peacock.  [MRRC]

  • Milwaukee Road opens a branch line from Channing to Sidnaw, meeting with the Ontonagon & Brule River Railway which connected to Ontonagon at Lake Superior.  [MSL]

  • Jackson and Northern Railroad Co. builds and operates 3' line from Jackson to Village of Portage in Blackman Twp (north of MAL crossing).  Abandoned sometime after 1921.   [MRRC/MA]

  • November 24:  Carferry "Ann Arbor No. 1" began service from Elberta to Kewaunee, WI, the first carferry service on Lake Michigan and the first railroad ferry service in the world across open water.  [MDOT]

    Late:  The Detroit, Lansing and Northern Railroad completes its new line from Oak (near the current Southfield Expressway) to Delray and the Fort Street Union depot.  [PM45]


  • Rudolph Diesel patents his internal combustion (diesel) engine.  [DWS]

  • Columbiaville's depot is replaced with a new (current) structure.  [MHM]

  • Michigan Central builds depot at Vasser.  Depot continues to exist into 2001.  [IT-12/1974]

  • Alpena & Hubbard Lake abandons 3' gauge route from Alpena to Hubbard Lake.  [MRRC]

  • Grass Lake and Manistee River Railroad abandons operation of 8 mile long line near Manistee River.  [MRRC]

  • Much of the trackage of the Cadillac and Northeastern Ry. was abandoned in the face of competition from the GR&I, which built a branch line from Missaukee Jct. (four miles north of Cadillac) to Jennings, Lake City, and on towards Houghton Lake, with a branch to Falmouth.  [MRC-7/87]

  • Michigan Central depot in Niles is built.  [MHM]

  • The first Pere Marquette freight house in Detroit (south of the depot) is completed.  It receives additions in 1901 and 1910.  [PM45]

  • The Chicago & West Michigan builds a two-stall roundhouse at Waverly Yard in Holland.  [PM45]

  • The Chicago & West Michigan completes their passenger station in Petosky.  [BOM]

  • Escanaba Electric Street Railway opens line in Escanaba.  [MRRC]

  • The Wisconsin Central (1st) adds additional yard tracks at Ironwood, to handle increasing output from the Aurora mine.  The Bessemer Yard is also enlarged to seven tracks to handle shipments out of the Palms and Colby mines.[SOO-W/1996]

  • Michigan Central (Grayling, Twin lakes and Northeastern Railroad) opens line 30 miles from Grayling to Twin Lakes (Lewiston).  [MRRC]

  • Manistee, Filer City & East Lake Railway opens electric line in Manistee and adjacent townships.  [MRRC]

  • The Chicago & West Michigan opens their line from Traverse City to Bay View.   [PM45]


1893
  • January 22:  Fort Street Union Depot Co. opens line from 18th St. to 3rd Street.  [MRRC/MRC-10/1976]]

  • January 21:  First train arrives at new Fort Street Union Station.  The station houses the offices of the Pere Marquette and Fort Street Union Depot Company.   [DWS/DPH]  The original length of the viaduct leading up to the depot was 3,187 feet, but it was shortened over the years to 2,513 feet by filling in the ends.  [PH45]

  • August 28:  Boyne City and Southeastern opens line from Boyne City to Boyne Falls.  [MRRC]

  • September 11:  The LSMS Atlantic Express is robbed near Kendallville, Indiana.  Seven masked men shot the engineer.  Dynamite was used to blow open the express car door and the safe inside.  About $10,000 was taken.  [LS]

  • October 13:  Michigan Central RR passenger train wreck at Jackson kills 18 people.   [MDOT]

  • October 19:  Grand Trunk Western passenger train wreck at Battle Creek kills 26 people.   [MDOT]

  • November 18:  Alpena and Northern completed from Alpena to La Rocque.  (Note  GW notes that it reached May Lake near Millersburg in January, 1894.)  It is owned by Alger, Smith and Company, a logging firm which owns the Detroit, Bay City & Alpena.  [NK/GW]


  • Milwaukee & Northern RR completed line from Channing to Ontonagon.   [MDOT]

  • Flint & Pere Marquette constructs a 5 1/2 mile extension of narrow gauge line from Port Austin to Grindstone City.  [PMHS]

  • Atlantic & Lake Superior Railroad opens private mining road in Houghton County.  (Sec 4 T54N R34W to Sec 21 T55N R35W).  [MRRC]

  • The Flint & Pere Marquette builds a new line from West Detroit (Oak) to Delray between 1991 and 1993.  [COHS-8/1997]

  • Fall:  The Elkhart & Western is completed north of the St. Joseph River in Elkhart, west to Mishawaka.  A connection is made there with the Grand Trunk Railway at Main Street.  The branch leads to the industrial development of Elkhart's north side.  A connection was made with the Old Road, near Prairie Street in 1894.  This route was purchased by the Lake Shore in 1898.  [LS]

  • American Railway Union (ARU) founded by radical labor leader Eugene V. Debs.  [DWS]

  • The Detroit, Toledo & Milwaukee builds a new depot at South Tecumseh, where the road crossed the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Jackson Branch.  The depot continues to exist today, moved to downtown Tecumseh and used as a store.  [MRC-2/1995]

  • The Detroit, Bay City & Alpena goes into receivership.  J. D. Hawks, the former Chief Engineer for the Michigan Central, is appointed Vice President and General Manager.  [GW]

  • The Michigan Central builds a new brick and stone depot in Sturgis.  The depot is currently used (2001) by the Chamber of Commerce.  [MRT-I]

  • The Flint & Pere Marquette rebuilds the superstructure of its Saginaw River bridge, substituting steel for wood trestles and designed to carry Coopers E-30 loading.  For the most part, the new superstructure was erected on the original foundations which were built in 1867.  [PM45]

  • The predecessor to the PM builds the swing bridge is built in Charlevoix.  [MRC-4/1983]

  • The Lake Shore finally completes double tracking of its line from Elkhart to Chicago.  It had been upgraded, in sections, over the last twenty years.  Year of completion is approximate.   [LS]

  • The Pullman Company abandons what remains of its shops in Detroit.  [HWC]

  • The Mackinac Transportation Company replaces the St. Ignace with the Sainte Marie, a new car ferry with three tracks on her main deck capable of holding eighteen cars and public rooms for passengers. The Sainte Marie is abandoned in 1927.  [AAD]

  • New York Central locomotive 999 attains a speed of 112.5 miles per hour.  [STOV]

  • The Federal Government passes the Federal Safety Appliance Act of 1893 which makes air brakes and automatic couplers mandatory on railroads.  Railroads are given to January 1, 1898 to comply.  [AAD]

  • Panic of 1893 causes depression which pushes many railroads into default or receivership.  [STOV]


1894
  • Depressed economic times follow the Panic of 1893.  [STOV]

  • Spring:  Pullman Palace Car Company strike affects rail service in the Chicago area and other parts of the country.  There wages had been cut 25% without any reduction in the rent paid for company-owned housing.  Members of the American Railway Union struck in sympathy and refused to service trains containing Pullman cars.  Federal troops were ordered to protect the U.S. mail and the strike was eventually broken.  [STOV]

  • Spring:  The Lake Shore continues their practice of having green house crews from Hillsdale plant shrubs and flowers at various stations along the line.  [LS]

  • April 30:  The depot at White Pigeon is destroyed by fire.  The fire started in the kitchen of the station dining room.  The station was one of the oldest on the Lake Shore.  [LS]

  • May:  Pullman Palace Car workers (in Illinois) strike which leads to a general rail strike which paralyzes the nation's transportation system.  Troops are called out to break strike on July 2.   [DWS]

  • August:  The Michigan Circuit Court at Port Huron has allowed the Flint & Pere Marquette to abandon its branch road between Yale and Zion, Michigan, about 13 miles.  Citizens who subscribed to install this branch will have the subscription amount returned to them.  This line is a branch of the Port Huron & Northwestern, a narrow gauge road purchased by the F&PM some years ago.  The branch was abandoned soon after the purchase.  [C&OHS-8/94]

  • August 8:  Boyne City and Southeastern Railroad opens line from south Arm Pine Lake east to Boyne Falls, via Boyne City, and to railroad junction at Alba.  [MRRC]

  • September 23:  Alpena and Northern opens line south from La Rocque towards Jackson Lake in Montmorency County.   [KM]

  • December 29:  Detroit & Mackinac Railway was charted as a reorganized Detroit, Bay City & Alpena RR.   [MDOT][MDY33]

  • December 29:  The Drexel, Morgan and Company syndicate purchases the Alpena and Northern, which had already been completed from Alpena to McKinnon Lake.  [HI]


  • DSS&A completes its own line from Iron River to Superior, WI, avoiding the use of the Northern Pacific.  [SSJB]

  • The Wisconsin & Michigan Railway begins construction of a line from Peshtigo Harbor, WI on the Menominee River, to Iron Mountain.  The line was completed "after years of struggle".  It included two branch lines crossing the Menominee River into Wisconsin, and provided service over the Milwaukee Road tracks to Marinette, WI/Menominee, MI.  [MSL]

  • A line is opened from Petosky to Bay View.  [AAD]

  • The Flint & Pere Marquette builds a narrow-gauge branch line from Port Austin to Grindstone City (5 miles).  [AB]

  • Toledo & South Haven RR is sold and reorganized as the South Haven & Eastern.   [PMHS]

  • Lake Shore & Michigan Southern builds depot at White Pigeon.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • Severe forest fires hit Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The WC (1st) stated that they were "tired of having their bridges burned by forest fires every season".    [SOO-W/1996]


1895
  • February 1:  The Detroit, Bay City & Alpena Railroad leaves receivership and the assets are sold to new owners, the Detroit and Mackinac Railway. Winter:  A 40-lever interlocking plant is erected at Porter, IN at the crossing of the Lake Shore and the Michigan Central.  The interlocker would stand until the early 1980's.  [LS]

  • March 12:  Epworth League Railway in Mason County was organized (later named "Ludington Northern" and builds 4 mile long  line from Ludington to Hamlin Lake.  [MDOT/MRRC]

  • April 16:  Alpena and Northern purchased by the Detroit and Mackinac RR.  [NK]  (Note:  GW notes this sale date as April 10th).

  • Summer:  Work is completed on the Iron Mountain and Huron Bay, between Huron Bay in Lake Superior (north of L'Anse) and Champion.  The route ran one train, which derailed and went into the ditch.  The railroad was deemed a failure and the track was pulled up.  [MSL]

  • June:  Grand Haven Street Railway opens electric line in Grand Haven.  [MRRC]

  • July 8:  Crosstown streetcar line begins operation, built by Detroit Railway Co. and organized by the Pack brothers.  [DWS]

  • July 14:  The official opening of the Rapid Railway from Detroit (city limits - Gratiot near Harper) to Mt. Clemens.  The first trip was actually made on June 30th.  [EMR4]

  • August:  The Barnum & Bailey Circus train came to Elkhart with the following consist:  30 flat cars, 15 box cars, 7 passenger coaches and 3 elephant cars.  The train was handled in three sections.  [LS]

  • September:  The Manistique & Northwestern lays its first eleven miles of track, starting at Manistique and going north. [AATHA-F/1990]

  • October 1:  An interurban line opens betwen Pontiac and Sylvan Lake, in Oakland County.  [EMR4]

  • October 5:  Detroit, Delray & Dearborn Railroad completes line from Delray to (west) Dearborn.  [MRRC]

  • October 29:  Michigan Railroad Commission approves the crossing of the Detroit, Lansing and Northern by the Ann Arbor Railroad at Annpere.  Interlocking tower is installed.  [MSAI]

  • November:  A tower is installed at the crossing of the Detroit, Lansing & Northern and the Ann Arbor Railroad east of Howell, called Annpere. [MSAI]


  • Lima Northern builts line from Ohio State line to Wabash connection at Lima Junction.  [IT-12/79]

  • Chicago & West Michigan opens 7-mile branch line from Turtle Lake to the town of Honor.  [COHS-5/1995]

  • Pere Marquette abandons line from Honor to Clary, 10 miles.  [COHS-8/1997]

  • New steel Portage Canal swing bridge is built between Houghton and Hancock.  [CRWS]

  • Michigan Central builds a Romanesque-style brick depot at Columbiaville.  It saw passenger service until 1964.  Depot continues to exist into 1999.  [IT-12/1974/MRT-I]

  • Detroit & Mackinac Ry. locomotives continue to be steamed with hardwood fuel.  Coal was expensive and involved long hauls and expensive storage.  Hardwood was at hand, it was cheap, and by using it the road provided a market for the settler while clearing his land for farming purposes.  [GW]

  • Lake Shore & Michigan Southern builds depot at Sturgis.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • State law requires that each station have a bulletin board announcing in advance the time of arrival and departure of trains.  [AAD]

  • The D&M adopts the "Turtle" as its trade-mark, and begins a bid for sportsmen and summer resorters.  [GW]

  • The Solvay Process Company of Syracuse, New York, purchases the old exposition grounds of 67 acres (including buildings).  They add Brady Island, just across the Rouge River (232 acres), and begin development of salt beds underlying Zug Island.  It becomes the largest industry in Delray.  [HWC]

  • Union Station in Muskegon is completed.  It is a Richardsonian Romanesque structure of red brick.  It was designed by Sidney J. Osgood.  The depot served the Chicago and West Michigan, the Grand Rapids & Indiana, and the Toledo, Saginaw and Muskegon Railroads which were given a financial incentive to build it.  Previously the city had been served by a small frame structure.  [BOM]

  • Oakland Railway electric interurban begins regular service to Detroit.  [DWS]

  • Wireless radio is invented in Italy.  [DWS]

  • Baltimore & Ohio Railroad establishes world's first electric mainline service in Philadelphia.  [DWS]


1896
  • Early:  The Detroit & Mackinac extension south from Emery Jct. reaches Omer.  [GW]

  • April 25:  Cincinnati Northern RR (Jackson and Cincinnati Railway) was completed to Jackson from Hudson and south.   [MDOT]  (per MRRC opened Jackson to Addison Jct.]

  • July 2:  The Lima Northern Railway begins service between Adrian and Lima Ohio, using Wabash tracks from Adrian to a junction 9 miles south of Adrian, and then onto Lima Northern tracks.  This gap was later closed when they installed their own tracks.  They also constructed tracks within the next year from Adrian to Tecumseh.  [EMR4]

  • August 7: The D&M south extension reaches Saganing from Omer.  [GW]

  • August 12:  Lake Superior & Ishpeming opens line from Presque Isle to Ishpeming.  [MRRC]

  • September 17:  Detroit and Mackinac RR opens new connection from Emery Jct. to Bay City with a train full of newspaper men from Bay City.  It is officially opened to the public n September 20th at noon..  [NK/GW]

  • Fall:  The D&M abandons its line from Prescott to Alger.  [GW]

  • October 14:  The Ann Arbor Railroad opens its new Central Station in downtown Toledo.  [AATHS-Spr/2002]

  • October 16:  D&M moves its General Freight and Passenger Agent office to Bay City.  [GW]

  • November 15:  Flint & Pere Marquette completes line from Monroe to Alexis, Ohio (Toledo).  [MRRC]


  • Late:  D&M purchases Wheeler farm and builds yard at North Bay City.  [HI/GW]

  • D&M completes its southward extension from Emery Jct. to Bay City.  [HI]

  • Cecil Bay Lumber Co. builds 3' gauge logging road in the Carp Lake-Cecil Bay Area of Emmet County.  [MRRC]

  • Lewiston and Southeastern Railroad opens 3' gauge line, 15 miles from Lewiston southeast in Oscoda County.  [MRRC]

  • Pere Marquette abandons 14 miles of track from Meredith to Harris.  [COHS-8/1997]

  • Michigan Central builds depot at Mullett Lake.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • Grand Trunk builds depot at Greenville.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • LS&I builds new wooden ore dock at Presque Isle Harbor.  It is built of the latest type of construction for the period.  It was 54 feet high, 1200 feet long with 200 pockets each holding 160 tone or a total storage capacity of 32,000 tons.  By 1910, it had become obsolete.  [MRC-10/1987]

  • The first automobiles appear on the streets of Detroit.  [BOM]


1897
  • February 16:  "Pere Marquette", the world's first all-steel car ferry on the Great Lakes, made its maiden voyage between Ludington and Manitowoc, WI.  It is 350 feet long, 56-foot beam, four deck tracks with a capacity of 26 freight cars.  It is built by the F. W. Wheeler & Co. yard at Bay City.   It is later numbered No. 15.  [MDOT/COHS-8/1997]  Note: COHS reports that its maiden voyage to Milwaukee took place on 2/14/1997.

  • Winter:  The Detroit & Mackinac receives considerable revenut from the shipment of ice from Tawas Bay.  Ice famines over the country made this business quite active.  [GW]

  • March:  The D&M developes the beach and pine groves on the bay north of East Tawas for a picnic grounds.  On August 21, Tawas Beach is formally opened.  Linwood Park, just north of Bay City is also opened for similar purposes.  [GW]

  • May 27:  Detroit & Lima Northern RR operates first train over 14-mile extension from Adrian to Tecumseh.   [IT-12/79/MRRC]

  • June 13:  The Ann Arbor No. 1 car ferry sailed into the harbor at Manistique, beginning a 71 year era of railroad carferry service to that port.   [AATHA-F/1990]

  • August 27:  After having unsatisfactory results from using the Lake Shore's line from Monroe to Toledo, the Flint & Pere Marquette opens its own line between Monroe to Toledo.  [EMR4][PM45]

  • August 29:  The "Lusk Bill" becomes law, which allows the hauling of freight at night on street railways without consent of local authorities.  [EMR4]

  • August:  Detroit & Lima Northern Railroad acquires the Michigan Division of the Detroit, Toledo & Milwaukee RR.  [IT-12/79]  (trackage rights on the LSMS?)

  • October 4:  Milwaukee, Benton Harbor & Columbus Ry. completes line from Benton Harbor to Berrien Springs.  [MRRC]

  • September:  M&NW completes a short line from Manistique to South Manistique, giving it access to the Delta lumber holdings. [AATHA-F/1990]

  • October 6:  Lake Shore Grand Rapids division trains will no longer termiante at White Piegon.  A connection has been built there so that trais can run through to Elkhart which will be their new terminal.  [LS]

  • November 3:  The Lake Shore begins using electrically lighted passenger cars, built by Wagner.  Power for the cars was obtained from a generator located in the forward end of the buffet car, which was driven by steam from the locomotive.  [LS]

  • November 17:  The Lake Shore closes their White Pigeon roundhouse.  [LS]

  • November 30:  Munising Ry. opens line from Munising to Little Lake and Princeton, as well as Stillman to Cusino.  [MRRC/MRC-10/1987]

  • December 26:  M&NW completes track from Steuben to Scott's to McNeil and to Ackers.  A junction was made with the Munising Railway at Ackers.   [AATHA-F/1991]

  • December:  M&NW has completed 36 miles of mainline from Manistique north.   [AATHA-F/1990]

  • Late:  The Detroit & Lima Northern builds 13 miles of tracks into Detroit's West End, via Zug Island.  [EMR4]


  • St. Joseph Valley RR completed north from Berrien Springs to Benton Harbor as part of the Milwaukee, Benton Harbor & Columbus RR.  [PMHS]

  • D&M completes 4 mile long spur to Alabaster to service the Western Plaster Works.  [HI]

  • The Escanaba River Co., a subsidiary of the I. Stephenson (Lumber) Co., builts a seven-mile railroad from Wells to tap a large hardwood timber stand at LaFave's hill.  This line was changed in name to the Escanaba & Lake Superior Railway in 1998 and the tracks were extended to Watson.  [EDP-12/27/1950]

  • Michigan Central builds depot at Albion.  Depot continues to exist into 2001.  [IT-12/1974]

  • A portion of the C&CS between Slocum Junction to Dundee is sold to the Detroit & Lima Northern Railway, to be used as a part of their main line between Detroit and Adrian.  [EMR4]

  • The Grand Trunk operates funeral trains between Brush Street Depot and the Mount Olivet Cemetery, which was located on their Detroit-Port Huron line.  Certain trains also made either scheduled or conditional stops at the cemetery.  [MRC-6/1973]

  • The Detroit & Lima Northern uses the Wabash Railroad, for a time, between Britton and Detroit to reach the Detroit Union Station.  [EMR4]

  • Pack, Woods & Co. of AuSable, large lumber operators, cease operations.  [GW]

  • Chicago & West Michigan purchases a wooden car ferry which had formally been used between Conneaut, Ohio and Port Stanley, Ontario.  It is moved and put into service between Muskegon and Milwaukee.  It begins Pere Marquette service after the merger in 1900.  [COHS-8/1997]

  • First municipal subway in U.S. opens in Boston.  [DWS]


1898
  • January 10:  Grand Rapids, Kalkaska & Southeastern Railroad completes line from Rapid City to Stratford.  It is standard gauge and is laid with 60-lb. rail.   [COHS-1/1998/MRRC]

  • January 22:  The Blizzard of 1898 drops 16 inches of snow, followed by an additional 6 inches on January 25th.  The blizzard raged on for almost a week, causing 14 foot drifts in many places, and wreaking havoc on railroad operations state-wide and stopping PM through trains for at least 5 days.  In Ludington, all four PM car ferries remained in port all week.   [COHS-1/1998]

  • June 18:  A new Saxby and Farmer interlocking plant and tower is installed at Cassopolis, Michigan at the crossing of the Grand Trunk Western and the Michigan Central Air Line branch.   [MSAI]

  • April 25:  Spanish-American War begins.  Ends on August 12.  [DWS]

  • May:  Detroit & Lima Northern RR completes line from Dundee to Detroit.  [IC-12/79]

  • May:  Detroit & Lima Northern RR acquires trackage rights from Dundee to Tecumseh on the LS&MS.   [IC-12/79]

  • June 12:  Regular service begins on the Detroit, Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor interurban railroad.  [EMR4]

  • June 15:  The Lake Shore & Michigan Southern standardizes the color of all passenger cars to an olive color, with gold striping.  The fast mail cars were repainted to this new paint scheme.  [LS]

  • July 4:  Detroit & River St. Clair Railway opens line from Chesterfield to Algonac (electric line). [MRRC]

  • July 16:  The N&NW completes its line from Steuben to McNeil's Camp.  [AATHA-Sp/1991]

  • August 18:  The Detroit and Lima Northern Railway completes line from Delray to Tecumseh (partially using existing track), and from Adrian to Ohio state line.  [MRRC]

  • August 11:  The Saginaw Grocers and Butchers association held their annual picnic at D&M's Tawas Beach.  2,000 people were brought to the location by train using 40 passenger cars.  [GW]

  • September 11:  Detroit & Mackinac opens line from La Rocque to Onaway.  [NK]

  • September 16:  The Lake Shore & Michigan Southern standardizes the color of all passenger stations and freight houses to a new color which matches the olive green color of their passenger cars.  This replaces the yellow tint that most stations had received up to this point.  [LS]

  • September 28:  Detroit, Lake Shore and Mt. Clemens Railway opens electric line from Detroit to Mt. Clemens, via Grosse Pointe Farms.  [MRRC]

  • October 5:  A new interlocking plant and tower is proposed in Clare for the crossing of the Flint & Pere Marquette and the Ann Arbor Railroad.  It is a 16 lever Union Switch & Signal frame.  The tower is located across from the union depot.  [MASI]

  • October 8:  The M&NW completes a junction with the Munising Railway at the end of a branch line from Scotts to McNeils to Ackers, in Alger County, 11.5 miles long..   [AATHA-F/1990]

  • December 24:  The first interurban arrives in Dearborn.  [MRC-10/1987]

  • December 31:  Manistique and Northwestern Railway opens line from Manistique to Shingleton.  [MRRC]


  • Boyne Falls & Northeastern builds 8 mile long logging railroad from Boyne Falls northeast to T34N R4W.  [MRRC]

  • The Wisconsin & Michigan builds its line from Faithorn, MI to Quinnesec between 1898 and 1902.  [MW]

  • The E&LS builds its Woodlawn branch, from Woodlawn to Golden.  [EDP-12/27/1950]

  • Lake Shore & Michigan Southern builds depot at Jonesville.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  This is the stone and brick bu located 1/2 mile west of the 1870 wood depot, and is on the line to the west.  [IT-12/1974]

  • The Flint & Pere Marquette standard-gauges its line between Port Huron and Grindstone City, and to Sand Beach (Harbor Beach).  [AB]

  • Sugar beets are first planted in Michigan's "thumb".  [AB]

  • The Michigan Central Railroad builds a new stone and brick station in Dowagiac.  It is still used today (2001) by Amtrak.  [MRP-I]

  • Grand Trunk builds depot at Marcellus.  Depot continues to exist into 1974.  [IT-12/1974]

  • The South Haven and Eastern (formally the Toledo and South Haven) changes it's gauge to standard gauge.  In 1903, it becomes part of the Pere Marquette system.   [AAD]


1899
  • March:  The Michigan-Peninsular Car Company is acquired by the American Car & Foundry Company, headquartered in St. Louis, MO.  [HWC]

  • May 1:  Works begins on the Copper Range's Houghton Yard. A few scattered houses on the lake front were taken down.  The main offices for the Copper Range Railroad were established at the east end of the yards, consisting of a rectangular two-story brick building. A 400 foot boardwalk was built around the station. [CRH]

  • May 20:  Ypsilanti & Saline Electric Railway opens line from Ypsilanti to Saline.  [MRRC]

  • July 11:  Work begins on a new wye, which will allow LSMS trains to enter the Michigan Central yards at Kalamazoo.  This was followed by a consolidation of forces at Kalamazoo and the ceasing of operations of the "decrepit" Lake Shore depot.  [LS]

  • September 2:  The interurban line from Ypsilanti to Saline begins operations.  [EMR4]

  • September 27:  The first car of the Detroit, Rochester, Romeo and Lake Orion Railway reaches the Rochester bridge.  [EMR4]

  • November 11:  The Detroit, Plymouth and Northville Railway is opened to Northville.  [EMR4]

  • December 7:  Copper Range Railroad opens line from Houghton to Winona.  [MRRC]

  • December 27:  Copper Range RR completed line from Houghton to /Mass/McKeever.  [MDOT/CRAR]


  • Michigan Traction line completed from Kalamazoo to Battle Creek.  [IT-12/79]

  • D&M reaches Onaway.  [HI]

  • Menominee and St. Paul Railway opens line from Menominee to Wisconsin state line (10 miles).  [MRRC]

  • The Grand Rapids, Belding & Saginaw Railroad builds from Lowell to Belding.  becomes a part of the Pere Marquette.  [PM45]

  • South Haven & Eastern is sold to the owners of the Milwaukee, Benton Harbor & Columbus and converted to standard gauge.   [PMHS]

  • Frank Hecker and Charles Freer, who founded Peninsular Car Co. in 1885, retire, millionaires several times over.  [DWS]

  • Ransom Olds opens the first Detroit automobile factory on East Jefferson Avenue, near Belle Isle.  [BOM]