Timeline - 1840's - Overview

  • Branch lines were not considered profitable by the state's main railroads.  Plank roads and stage lines acted as feeders for major rail lines.  [AAD]

  • Late 1840's:  The Michigan Central Railroads owned steam ships which transported passengers on Lake Erie and lower Lake Michigan.  This enabled travelers to go from New York to Chicago using the central railroad in between.  [AAD]

  • The job of "train butcher" begins - usually a young boy - who passed "ice cold water" out to passengers.  Later, they begin selling papers and candy on the trains.  [AAD]

  • Until 1840, almost all lumber produced in Michigan is used within the state.  After 1840, lumber began to be shipped to Chicago and Milwaukee and points west.  [BOM]

  • By 1840, steamboats had been built to cross the Atlantic ocean. This new form of travel helped trade with other countries around the world. [TTT]

Timeline Key:

  • Railroad event in Michigan
  • Event relating to mining
  • Event related to car ferries
  • Event outside of Michigan
  • Improvement in Technology
  • Railroad built or extended
  • Railroad abandoned and/or removed
  • Economic panic or depression