Timeline - 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]

  • Fletcher Paper Company opens a paper mill at Alpena, and a new pulp mill t Broadwell's Dam, five miles from Alpena.  A spur track brings pulp from that mill to Alpena for the making of paper through a chemical process.   [DMAR-1898]

  • D&M builds a new station at Twining at a cost of $800.  [DMAR-1898]

 

 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