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Welcome to the official web site of the Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc.!

The Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc. (PMHS) was founded in 1995 as a means of collecting and disseminating information regarding the Pere Marquette Railroad. Our membership is made up of historians, former employees, modelers, and railfans. If you are interested in the PM, we encourage you to join.

The Pere Marquette Railroad Company was formed in 1900 by the merger of numerous Michigan railroads, the most prominent of them being the Flint and Pere Marquette, the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western, and the Chicago and West Michigan. During its existence, it came under the control of several other railroads at one time or another, including the Baltimore and Ohio and the Erie. In the 1920s, it came under the control of Oris and Mantis Van Sweringen, two financiers from Cleveland who also controlled the Nickel Plate, the Erie, and the Chesapeake and Ohio. Over the years, the C&O gained more and more control over the PM, until on June 6, 1947 the PM was formally merged into the Chesapeake and Ohio.

The Pere Marquette operated over trackage stretching from Buffalo, New York to Chicago, and from Bay View (Petoskey) Michigan to Toledo, Ohio, with trackage in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Ontario. In addition to its strictly rail operations, the PM also operated railway car ferries on the Detroit and St. Clair rivers, and a fleet of car ferries from Ludington across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee, Kewaunee and Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Nearly all of the trackage CSX operates in Michigan today is former PM trackage.

Please Note: The PMHS is unable to provide information regarding specific PM employees, as we do not possess any of the PM's employment records.


TJ Gaffney Giving Presentation on Railways in the Thumb on October 16- Historian T.J. Gaffney will give a presentation on the history of the railways in Michigan's "Thumb" on Sunday, October 16 at the Sanilac County Historical Village and Museum in Port Sanilac. The presentation begins at 3:00pm in the Museum Church. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. While at the Historical Village, stop by the restored PM Deckerville depot, too.


Pere Marquette 1225 to pull 75th Anniversary Trip to Clare on November 5- The Steam Railroading Institute has announced that the official 75th Anniversary excursion for PM 1225 will be its November 5 trip from Owosso to Clare. The train will depart from SRI's facilities on South Washington Street in Owosso and run to Clare where it will be met by a band. Tours of the relocated Clare depot, currently under restoration, will be available during the four-hour layover. In addition, author Kevin P. Keefe will be on-board, signing copies of his thorough and engaging history of #1225, Twelve Twenty-Five.

Tickets are available from the Insitute's web site, at


PM 1225 at the Hamburg Fmaily Fun Festival, June 18, 2016
#1225 at the Hamburg Family Fun Festival, June 18, 2016

Pere Marquette 1225 to pull trips at Howell Melon Festival, August 20-21- As part of its 75th Anniversary Year, PM Berkshire #1225 will pull a series of short trips from the Howell Melon Festival on Saturday and Sunday, August 20 and 21. Trips will depart from the Howell Area Historical Society's former Ann Arbor Railroad depot at the corner of Wetmore and North Walnut Streets every two hours, from 10:00am until 6:00pm Saturday, and 10:00am until 4:00pm, Sunday.

Tickets range from $10 for children riding in coach to $25 for an adult riding in a caboose, and can be purchased in advance from the Steam Railroading Institute's web site until Wednesday night, August 17 (most caboose seating is already sold out as of August 14). Otherwise tickets are available at the boarding site.

Aside from being an opportunity to ride behind #1225, these trips are a great opportunity to introduce the younger members of your family to full-scale steam railroading on a shorter trip well-suited to younger potential railfans with shorter attention spans.


Pere Marquette 1223 Ice Cream Social to be held Thursday, August 18, 2016 in Grand Haven- The 2016 "Engine 1223 Ice Cream Social" is scheduled for Thursday, August 18. Cab tours begin at 4:00pm, with ice cream being served from 6:00pm until 8:00pm or while supplies last. This is usually the only time each year when the public is allowed inside the fence at #1223's Chinook Pier display site.

1223 is displayed along North Harbor Drive, between First and Second Streets. No admission is charged, and ice cream is provided free of charge.


The C&O Ferries Solve a Transportation Problem for a Locomotive Restorer - The Association of Tourist Railroads and Railway Museums' online magazine recently featured an article on how the ferries S.S. Badger and S.S City of Midland 41 solved the problem of getting a derelict steam locomotive from Milwaukee to a new home at a museum site in Manitowoc. In this reprint of a story by Larry Bohn originally published in the Minnesota Tranportation Museum's Minnegazette in 1994, he describes the challenges of moving ex-Soo Line 0-6-0 #321 to its current home, back in the mid-1960s.



Joining the PMHS

PMHS 2001 Get-Together BookletPere Marquette Historical Society members receive six issues of PM Tracks, the bimonthly PMHS newsletter each year. Members also receive notices of special projects, such as our custom-run PM freight cars.

We hold an annual "get-together" for members and their immediate families each year at a town along the former-PM right-of-way.

To join the Pere Marquette Historical Society, send a check or money order for $30.00 (Canadian residents $35.00 US) payable to the "Pere Marquette Historical Society" to:

Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc.
Membership Officer
P.O. Box 422
Grand Haven, MI 49417-0422

A copy of our membership application form is available on this Web site.

The Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization incorporated in the State of Michigan and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.


This site would not be possible without the gracious assistance of fellow PMHS members and numerous others who have contributed information and photographs for use on this site, most notably:

  • Tom Amrine
  • Dennis Bean-Larson
  • Willard Benedict
  • Ben Boshoven
  • Gary Boyer
  • J.C. Carlson
  • Art Chavez
  • Bob DeClerg
  • William Dewey
  • T.J. Gaffney
  • Eddie Gross
  • Hugh J. Hales III
  • Max S. Hanley
  • E.L. Huddleston
  • Roger Kirkpatrick
  • Chuck Neal
  • Paul Quintus
  • Bob Sanford
  • Leon Schaddelee
  • Robert Vande Vusse
  • Cliff Vander Yacht
  • Dave Zelisse

And of course, no work on the PM would be complete without acknowledging the fine work of late PMHS President Art Million, who was not only a pioneer PM historian, but has written most of the books and articles published about the PM over the past several decades. Art provided valuable background information (and error-correction!) for this site.

PMHS, P.O. Box 422, Grand Haven, MI 49417

Use of this Web site and the materials contained within it is subject to specific terms and conditions.

Do you have questions or comments regarding this Web site? E-mail
All original contents of this Web site are Copyright © 2016, John F. ("Fritz") Milhaupt, on behalf of the Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc., All Rights Reserved.