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PM Passenger Car Pictorial now available. Click here for more information.

Available Now!

 

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.


News

Michigan Railroad History Conference To Be Held September 23, in Holland - The fourteenth Michigan Railroad History Conference will be held on Saturday, September 23, 2017 at Hope College's Maas Conference Center, in Holland, Michigan. This will be the third time in the Conference’s thirty-year history that it is being held in West Michigan.

The featured speaker this year is William “Bill” Howes - Retired Director of Passenger Services for the C&O/B&O. Bill will present Where Did Everybody Go - The Highs and Lows of C&O/B&O Passenger Service in Michigan. Other presenters and presentations include:

  • Main 200: The Last Salute - The Story of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Funeral Train by Bill Howes
  • Michigan's Bootstrap Campaign - Passenger Development in the Amtrak Era by Craig Sanders
  • A Brief Look at What's Happening Now in Passenger Service in Michigan by Kay Chase of the Michigan Assocation of Railroad Passengers
  • Steam Railroads of Ottawa County by Paul Trapp
  • Interurban Railroads of Ottawa County by Norm Krentel
  • Logging Railroads in the Grand and Muskegon River Valleys by Carl Bajema and Joe Rogers
  • The International Railroad Bridge in Sault Ste. Marie by Nathan Holth
  • Alternative Design Concepts of the Lake Michigan Car Ferries by Art Chavez and Stephen McMillan
  • Using/Reading Employee Records for Historical Research by T. J. Gaffney

Basic registration costs $60.00 for registrations postmarked before September 1, and $70.00 for registrations postmarked after September 1.

Optional field trips are planned for the day before, to follow the route of the Grand Rapids Holland and Chicago interurban railway via tour bus, and the day after, to visit railroad sites in northern Ottawa County, including Consumer's Energy's J.H. Campbell Generating Complex. The additional tours require advance registration (with different deadlines), and capacities are limited. Details can be found at http://www.michiganrailroadhistory.org

 

2017 NCR NMRA Convention to Include Presentation on PM and C&O Passenger Trains and How to Model Them - On Friday morning, September 15, Fritz Milhaupt will present "PM and C&O Michigan Passenger Service 1946-71 and How To Model It" as part of the North Central Region, National Model Railroad Association Convention in Kentwood, Michigan. This presentation will cover the history of passenger service on the PM and the C&O in Michigan from 1946 until Amtrak Day in 1971, and how to model the variety of locomotives and rolling stock that supported that service.

The Convention, "Running the Rails: Grand Rails 2017" will be held Sept, 15-17, 2017 at the Delta by Marriott hotel (formerly the Ramada Inn), at the intersection of 28th Street and the East Beltline in Kentwood. Details can be found at https://www.grmrhs.org/runnin-the-rails

 

Classic Trains' "Great Trains Heartland" Issue Features Pere Marquette Streamliner - Classic Trains magazine's Spring 2017 special issue, "Great Trains Heartland" features a six-page article, with color and black and white photographs, which tells the story of the inauguration of the Pere Marquette's 1946 Pere Marquette streamliner. This special issue went on sale in April 2017.

 

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

 

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.

Acknowledgments

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.

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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.