[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: PC: Old Penn-Cenn RR bed.

Lisa A Bach wrote:
> Jerry,
> I'm interested in the history behind an old railroad bed (without the
> rails) near my property north of Lapeer Michigan.    The county map has
> them labeled as Penn-Cenn.  I have walked them and they appear to have
> been raised several years ago with remnant gravel and some old ties lay
> around. It would make an awesome mountain bike trail!   I have walked
> them and they lead to a small town just 2 miles north called
> Columbiaville , MI.  where there is an old brick passenger terminal which
> has since been taken over by the Rotary club.
> The bed has captured my interest.
> Do you have any info?
> Thanks,
> Terrell Bach
> Jeremiah 29:11

Terrell:  Here's some additional info on the line through Lapeer.  It
was known as the Mackinaw Branch during the NYC-PC years.  The segment
north of Bay City was picked up by Detroit and Mackinaw (back in the
70's or early 80's, I think).  After D & M purchased the line, they
abandoned their own track north of Hawks (northwest of Alpena) and used
the Mackinaw Branch to reach Cheboygan.  The D & M ripped up the rest of
the Mackinaw Branch between Cheboygan and Mackinaw City.
Years ago, the Mackinaw Branch was the primary way to get National Guard
units to Camp Grayling.  Troop trains were a constant sight on the line
during WWII and the Korean War.
The ferry at Mackinaw City that Jeff mentioned was a classic vessel. 
She was called "Chief Wawatam", a twin-funneled, coal-burning bow-loader
built around 1910 or so.  She's long gone now (the last word I had was
that a Canadian firm bought her sometime during the 80's and cut her
down for a barge), but the piers where they loaded her are still visible
in Mackinaw City and St. Ignace.  

"Uncle E"
andersoncn -AT- orion.branch-co.lib.mi.us

Home | Main Index | Thread Index