Station: West Branch, MI

MC West Branch Depot West Branch MI railroad station West Branch MI railroad stationWest Branch MI railroad station West Branch MI railroad stationWest Branch MI railroad stationWest Branch was settled about 1871 when the Michigan Central railroad came through here on the way north to Mackinaw City. The town became a village in 1885 and a city in 1905. [MPN]

Photo Info: Top, a railroad valuation photo of the West Branch depot in 1918. [CMUL] 2nd photo, an early 1900's photo of the MC depot at West Branch with a loading passenger train. The train order/block signals are set to stop. [Alan Loftis collection]. 3rd photo the former MC depot. 4th photo, the freight house in West Branch. [Both, Jim Fulkerth]. 5th photo, West Branch station in the winter. [Alan Loftis]. 6th photo, Detroit & Mackinac 466 pulls a freight south past the West Branch depot on December 23, 1977. [Neil Plagens]


Time Line

1904. A veritable cloudburst struck West Branch last night between 7 and 10 o'clock, causing $25,000 in damages across the county. W. W. Vaughn's two electric light dams two miles east on the Rifle river, both went out at a loss of several thousand dollars. The town has been left in total darkness. Passengers on the circus train from Bay City at 9 o'clock had to wade knee deep from the depot going home and the track of the Michigan Central was washed out 150 feet, all trains being delayed here until this morning. [DFP-1904-0606]

1908. Lewis Souflett, 22 years old, a Frenchman, living two miles west of this city, left his home at 2 o'clock this morning, went to the railroad tracks, took off his shoes and when the north-bound passenger train passed, he threw himself under it. He was killed instantly. His brother was killed in the same place last February, in the same way. This makes the third brother to commit suicide in the last two years. [DFP-1908-1019]

1909. A man was instantly killed and another badly injured when a fast train of the Michigan Central struck a handcar with which the men had been working early this morning. Richard Leopold was run over and literally cut to pieces. John Zorn sustained compound fractures of one leg and arm and severe injury to the head. His recovery is doubtful. Two other men escaped injury. The four men had just rounded a curve on their handcar when they saw the train approaching from the opposite direction. They thought they would have enough time to reach a certain point but misjudged the speed of the train and were struck while attempting to lift the handcar off the track. [DFP-1909-0614]

1917. The MC had an operator/clerk here around the clock. [TRT]


  • Tolfree & Co. - (xxxx ← 1906 → xxxx) - shingle manufacturer [AML-1/13/1906]



The following sources are utilized in this website. [SOURCE-YEAR-MMDD-PG]:

  • [AAB| = All Aboard!, by Willis Dunbar, Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids ©1969.
  • [AAN] = Alpena Argus newspaper.
  • [AARQJ] = American Association of Railroads Quiz Jr. pamphlet. © 1956
  • [AATHA] = Ann Arbor Railroad Technical and Historical Association newsletter "The Double A"
  • [AB] = Information provided at Michigan History Conference from Andrew Bailey, Port Huron, MI

Contact Us

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Invalid Input