Timeline - 1880's - Overview

  • 1880's: GR&I extends a branch line from Missaukee Jct. (north of Cadillac) to a new lumber town called Mitchell (on Crooked Lake, named after the Mitchell brothers who owned the mill). - [MRC-09/88]

  • Early DSS&A builds depot in St. Ignace. It was moved to the waterfront in 1946 as a part of a consoldation of rail yards.. - [MRDC-8/89]

  • Detroit & Bay City abandons branch from Lapeer to northeast of Lapeer (near North Branch). [MRRC]

  • Railroads in the United States generally achieve a standard gauge of 4' 8 1/2".  [STOV]

  • About 25% of all track rail is made of steel.  [STOV]

  • The Calumet and Hecla Mining Co. had sunk 17 mine shafts and was smelting its own copper. [MOD-6/1985]

  • Between 1880 and the turn of the century, Detroit became a major center for shipbuilding, cigar manufacturing, and the production of pharmaceuticals.  Other major manufactured products included railroad cars, paints and varnishes, foundry and machine shop products, as well as beer.  [BOM]

  • The Milwaukee Junction industrial area begins to grow. [CRP1]

  • Petoskey becomes the center of a large commuter /tourist train network.  By 1898, the GR&I runs 15 round trips to Harbor Springs, 7 to Oden, 5 south to Walloon Lake and 4 to Mackinaw City, in addition to "dummy" trains every 20 minutes to a Methodist camp in Bay View.  By 1905, the line to Harbor Springs is double-tracked.  Even the Pere Marquette ran 10 trips daily between Charlevoix and Petosky.  The last trains ran to Harbor Springs in the summer of 1941.  [NK]

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