A Condensed Time Line of the Pere Marquette

Updated: 02-SEP-2009

This time line is a "work in progress" which outlines the major events in the history of the Pere Marquette between 1900 and its merger into the Chesapeake & Ohio in 1947.

1900 Pere Marquette Railroad formed by merger of Chicago & West Michigan, Flint & Pere Marquette and the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western.
1900 PM entered into agreement with the Pennsylvania and Michigan Central for operation and maintenance of Grand Rapids Union Station.
1901 Carferry Pere Marquette 17 placed into Lake Michigan service.
1901 New 12-stall roundhouse built at Saginaw.
1902 Carferry (first) Pere Marquette 18 placed into Lake Michigan service.
Fall, 1902 River ferry service begun between Port Huron, Michigan and Sarnia, Ontario.
Fall, 1902 Summer season steamship service between Ottawa Beach (Holland) and Milwaukee ended.
Jan., 1903 Lake Erie & Detroit River RR acquired (across Canada).
1903 River ferry service begun between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
1903 Ex-Port Huron & Northwestern line to Almont converted to standard gauge.
1903 PM jointly formed Marquette & Bessemer Dock & Navigation Company with Bessemer & Lake Erie RR to haul coal hoppers from Conneaut, Ohio to Erieau, Ontario and Port Stanley, Ontario via carferry.
1903 Break bulk freighters Pere Marquette 2, Pere Marquette 3 and Pere Marquette 4 sold to Gus Kitzinger.
1903 Collier Marquette & Bessemer No. 1 placed into service on Lake Erie.
1903 Carferries Pere Marquette 19 and Pere Marquette 20 placed into Lake Michigan service.
1903 Sandusky Branch built between Poland (Jct.) and Sandusky
May, 1903 Harbor Beach and Port Hope R.R. Co. completed between namesake villages.
May 6, 1903 Saginaw, Tuscola and Huron R.R., Bay City Belt Line R.R., Sanilac R.R., are merged into P.M. on same day.
Late 1903 Carferry service begun between Ludington and Kewaunee, Wisconsin.
Dec., 1903 Trackage completed from New Buffalo to Michigan Central RR at Porter, Indiana- direct service to Chicago begun.
Dec. 21, 1903 Harbor Beach and Port Hope R.R. Co. merged into the Pere Marquette.
1904 PM leased to Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton RR.
1904 PM river ferry Pere Marquette 14 launched.
1904 Coach shops constructed in Saginaw.
1905 New shops complex built at Wyoming.
1905 St. Thomas, Ontario shop facilities constructed.
1905 Carferry Marquette & Bessemer No. 2 (1st) placed into service on Lake Erie.
June 21, 1905 PM gained control of Toledo Rwy & Terminal Co.
Dec., 1905 First receivership began.
1906 Line from Rodney to Chippewa Lake abandoned.
1906 Break bulk freighter Pere Marquette 5 sold to Barry Brothers.
1907 Last narrow gauge locomotive, 4-4-0 "D" retired.
1907 First receivership ended.
Dec. 4, 1907 PM relinquished control of Toledo Rwy & Terminal Co.
Dec. 7, 1909 Carferry Marquette & Bessemer No. 2 (1st) lost on Lake Erie.
Sept. 9, 1910 Carferrry (First) Pere Marquette 18 sunk 20 miles off of Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
1910 Carferry Marquette & Bessemer No. 2 (2nd) placed into service on Lake Erie.
1911 Carferry (second) Pere Marquette 18 placed into Lake Michigan service.
1911 PM sold to J. P. Morgan.
1911 20 new, larger stalls added to Saginaw roundhouse.
1911 Major upgrading of facilities in the Port Huron area began.
Apr., 1912 Second receivership began.
May, 1912 Control of PM by Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton ended.
1912 Ludington roundhouse constructed.
1913 Rail service between Holland and Ottawa Beach ended.
1913 Port Huron roundhouse and coal dock are completed, as well as the bascule bridge over the Black River.
1914 PM lease of London & Port Stanley RR (acquired with LE&DR in 1903) ends.
1915 Line from Stratford to Spencer abandoned.
1917 Carferry Pere Marquette 16 sold.
Mar. 15, 1917 PM sold to Pere Marquette Railway Company in foreclosure sale.
Apr., 1917 Second receivership ended; Name changed to Pere Marquette Railway.
1917 New engine facilities constructed at Flint.
1918 Line from Spencer to Kalkaska abandoned.
1919 New yard construction begun at New Buffalo.
1919 New yard and roundhouse facilities construction begun at Plymouth.
1920 Rebuilding and enlargement of Saginaw Yard begun.
1920 New Buffalo yard construction completed.
1920 Plymouth yard facility construction completed.
1921 Lines from Kalkaska to Rapid City and from Carters to Clary abandoned.
1921 Massive Saginaw Yard improvement project completed.
June 7, 1921 PM incorporated Flint Belt RR Co.
Aug. 8, 1921 Pennsylvania RR granted trackage rights over the PM from Alexis, Ohio to Carleton, Michigan.
1922 Line from Leota to Harrison abandoned.
1923 Massive upgrading of Wyoming Yard and Shops begun; Ex-Detroit, Grand Rapids & Western Ionia shops closed; Much car repair work transferred from Saginaw to Wyoming.
1923 Flint Belt bypass of downtown Flint put into service. .
1923 Construction of Ottawa Yard begun at Erie, Michigan.
1924 Oris P. and Mantis J. Van Sweringen completed acquisition of control of PM, Nickel Plate and Erie.
1924 Carferries Pere Marquette 21 and Pere Marquette 22 placed into Lake Michigan service.
1924 New coach yard and engine terminals built for Union Belt Railway of Detroit (PM, Pennsylvania and Wabash) in Detroit.
1924 Line from Buchanan to Benton Harbor abandoned, except for northernmost three miles.
Nov., 1924 Ottawa Yard placed into service.
1925 Massive upgrading of Wyoming Yard and Shops completed.
1926 Line from White Cloud to Big Rapids abandoned.
1927 PM river ferry Pere Marquette 12 launched.
Nov. 10, 1927 Marquette & Bessemer Dock & Navigation Company discontinued sailings to Erieau, Ontario.
1928 Westmost 5 miles of Holland-Macatawa Beach branch abandoned.
1929 PM Class MK-6 2-8-2s #1095 through #1099 acquired second-hand from the Erie (their Class N-1, #3011, #3020, #3068, #3100, and #3105).
1929 Chesapeake & Ohio acquired controlling interest in the PM.
1929 Yards at Wyoming, Saginaw and Lansing enlarged.
Nov. 24, 1929 Carferry City of Saginaw 31 placed into Lake Michigan service.
1930 PM Class SF-6 2-10-2s #1198 and #1199 acquired second-hand from the Hocking Valley Railroad (their Class F-1, #141 and #143).
1930   Mershon-Zilwaukee spur abandoned.
May 22, 1930 Carferry City of Flint 32 placed into Lake Michigan service.
1931 Saginaw coach shops renovated.
Dec., 1931 PM acquired control of Manistee & North Eastern RR
Feb. 13, 1932 Marquette & Bessemer Dock & Navigation Company formally abandoned-- all sailings discontinued.
Aug. 5, 1932 River ferry service suspended at Port Huron. (Resumed by C&O in the 1950s)
1932 Lines from Fostoria to Otter Lake abandoned.
1932 Manistee & North Eastern began operations over portions of PM trackage, abandoning its own parallel tracks in these places.
1933 Lines from Pentwater to Mears, from Otter Lake to Otisville, from Port Austin to Grindstone City, and from Haynor (Kidd) to Stanton abandoned.
1934 PM river ferry (second) International (built in 1872 for Grand Trunk Rwy) sold and converted to a derrick barge.
1934 Line from Fruitport to Muskegon abandoned.
1934 Reeds Lake Branch removed between East Grand Rapids and Fuller Street.
1935 Original PM carferry Pere Marquette (built in 1897) scrapped at Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
1935 Line from Freeport to Elmdale abandoned.
January, 1935 Business Car #2 purchased from Georgia Car & Loco.
1937 First N-class Berkshire locomotives received from Lima.
1937 First steel cabooses on the PM received from Magor.
1938 Carferry Pere Marquette 20 sold to Michigan State Ferries for use at Mackinaw City.
July, 1939 First diesel switcher, EMC SW1 #10, arrived on property.
August, 1939 Business Car #1 purchased from W.F. Kinny.
1940 Carferries Pere Marquette 17 and Pere Marquette 19 sold.
1941 Carferry City of Midland 41 placed into Lake Michigan service.
1941 St. Thomas, Ontario shop facilities upgraded.
1941 Lines from Ionia to Haynor (Kidd) and from Bay City to Wolverine Mines #2 and #3 abandoned.
1942 Lines from Almont to Port Huron, from Paw Paw to Lawton, and from Howard City to Greenville abandoned.
Apr., 1942 Second diesel switcher, EMD SW1 #11, delivered to PM.
1943 Lines from Barryton to Mecosta, from Beaverton to Coleman, from Lakeview to Howard City and from Big Rapids to Remus abandoned.
1944 Lines from Weidman to Remus and from Harrison to Clare abandoned.
June 10, 1945 Reconstructed bridge over Saginaw River at Saginaw placed into service.
1945 PM river ferry Pere Marquette 10 launched.
January, 1946 Business Car #3 purchased from Monroe Automotive Equipment Co.
June, 1946 Two EMD E7A passenger diesels delivered to PM for use on new Pere Marquette streamliner.
Aug. 10, 1946 Pere Marquette streamliner inaugurated between Grand Rapids and Detroit, as the nation’s first all-new postwar streamlined passenger train.
June 6, 1947 Pere Marquette Railway merged into the Chesapeake & Ohio.

Wyoming Yard and Shops, 1956
Wyoming Yard and Shops, c. 1956
C&O Rwy. Photo -CSPR


Return to PMHS Home Page

PMHS, P.O. Box 233, Perry, MI 48872-0233

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 to
The contents of this Web site are Copyright © 2024, John F. ("Fritz") Milhaupt on behalf of the Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc., All Rights Reserved.