Story: Manistee, Filer City & East Lake Railway, Description of - 1899

From the Manistee Daily News, May, 1899

The franchise of the Manistee, Filer City & East Lake Railway Company, which holds the right of way upon the leading business and residence thoroughfares of this city, was formally granted in 1892, and extends over a period of thirty years. The officers of the company are George A. Hart, president, treasurer and general manager; R. R. Blacker, vice president and G. W. Swigert, secretary.

The tracks of the company follow the shore of the Little Lake to Filer City on the south through the most thickly settled portions of Manistee, and touching the plants of the large lumber and salt concerns which line the shore of Manistee Lake. The East Lake branch of the road penetrates territory of a like character on the eastern shore of the lake, and terminating at the suburb above named. The Filer City park, the base ball park and the driving park are situated on the line of the road, while the new extension will give this line the control of the traffic to the Orchard Beach resort.


The M.F.C. & E.L.Ry. operates fourteen miles of single track, eleven miles of which has center trolley construction.  There are 17 turn-outs on the line of the road. In the line of rolling stock the company has twenty-eight first class trolley cars, both open and closed. They are of the best manufacture, being largely from the St. Louis and the Pullman Car company shops. The company has a rotary snow sweeper, salt car, etc. and in fact everything properly belonging to the equipment of a modern electric street railway system.  The power house of the company is located on Vine street and is provided with the latest improved machinery for the development of electrical power. The engine room is 7070 feet in dimensions, and in it has recently been installed the magnificent 800 horse power compound Corliss engine, which was required by the extension of the road to Orchard Beach. There are also two Ide engines, of about 200 horse power each, to supplement the larger engine on occasion. The power is ample for the present, and in fact anticipates an increase in the requirements. A new generator of the General Electric company's manufacturer has just been installed.  Its capacity is between 400 and 500 horse power. The boiler room is 35x60 feet in dimension, and connects with a brick stack 92 feet high, containing a flue four feet square. Mr. Henry O'Connell, the engineer at the power house, has been with the company from the beginning, and has introduced some valuable ideas in the way of fuel economy.

The car house is of iron 105 x 136 feet in dimension, and is provided with a transfer table, so that cars can be moved from one track to another. There is also a machine shop, a blacksmith shop, a carpenter and a paint shop.  The building is heated by steam.