1903 Railway Depot in Port Hope Michigan

It wasn’t until 1903 that the Flint and Pere Marquette railway extended tracks from Harbor Beach north to Port Hope in the Upper Thumb. Financed by local businessmen, a standard gauge rail line was  laid the final seven miles. The following year a modern depot was built to host passengers and cargo. Now passengers could come in from anywhere in the country and Port Hope could ship out commodities to other markets.  

Port Hope was the End-Of-The-Line

Port Hope DepotThe railway owners deemed Port Hope to be the end of the line running up the eastern shore of Lake Huron. So an engine house, water tower and a “Y” turn-around were built to maintain the depot. Up until sometime in the 1930’s there was a daily train that ran from Port Huron to Port Hope in the morning with a return trip in the late afternoon. The run took three hours. Trains continued to run to Port Hope to another fifty years. The last freight runs ceased operation in 1982. 

The Restored Port Hope Depot Today

Port Hope Railway Depot

Port Hope Railway Depot

Today the Port Hope Depot has been exquisitely restored. You can see exhibits in the passenger waiting room, the station masters office,  luggage and freight room.  Each room has been painted to match the original color. The station looks brand new. One of the most interesting items on display was a pair of glasses found trapped for over one hundred years behind window trim in the station master office. The wire frame glasses are extremely fragile yet look brand new. 

Model Railroad Shows History of Port Hope and Harbor Beach

Port Hope Model Railroad

Port Hope Model Railroad

In the lower level of the depot there is an extensive model railroad being built by volunteer craftsmen. The model depicts how Port Hope and Harbor Beach depots and freight yards looked when the railway was active in the early 1900’s. Volunteers are still at work creating this are as it looked. It’s a fascinating exhibit in miniature. The model railroad can be seen when the depot is open or by appointment at 989-550-5298.

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Mike Hardy

Author of a fun loving and event blog covering topics of the Upper Thumb of Michigan , the wind energy capital of the Great Lakes. Offering great trove of information on Wind Energy, Cheeseburger in Caseville, Saginaw Bay, Sailing.

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