The railroad was key to the economic growth of the Thumb’s agricultural business. By 1910 Marlette Railway depot was twice a day stop for passengers and freight between Port Huron and Saginaw. During World War 1, the United States Railway Administration nationalized America’s railways during the war. The depot saw service by sending freight and troops to fight in the Great War.
Michigan Historical Marker of the Marlette Railway Depot
The first twenty-five miles of track for the Port Huron & Northwestern Railroad opened from Port Huron to Croswell in 1879. Marlette residents lured the railroad by raising $15,000 toward the construction of the tracks. The line extended from Saginaw Junction in St. Clair County to Marlette in January 1881, and Marlette and Mayville’s line opened in the fall. The Flint & Pere Marquette purchased the Port Huron & Northwestern in 1889. Flint contractor E.M. Stewart built this depot in 1890 with a double waiting room, an office, and a baggage room. The depot’s interior and exterior woodwork is well crafted and beautiful. An extravagance, but an indicator of the prosperity of the early railway era. The Marlette Historical Society bought the building in 1999.
Related Railroad Reading and Exploring
Capac’s Amazing Railroad Station and Museum – The Capac Railroad Depot is a bit off the beaten path. Situated east of Imlay City, it maintains the vibrant small-town rural charm found in Michigan. The town is located between Port Huron and Flint. The historic railroad depot is also home to one of the finest small-town museums in the region.
Sebewaing’s Railway Depot; Hidden in Plain Sight – Our research shows that this passenger and freight line was in 1882. A narrow-gauge railway was put in place from East Saginaw to Sebewaing by the Saginaw, Tuscola and Huron Railroad. A nine-mile extension to Bay Port was completed in 1884, then on to Bad Axe in 1886. The railway was converted to standard gauge starting in 1891. Finally, it was purchased by Pere Marquette in 1903.