Trace of former interurban in Michigan

While in Michigan during the summer of 2016, not far across the border from Indiana, I was able to attend an interesting museum program about the history of the Benton Harbor-St. Joe Railway & Light Co. I was able to get a copy of an interesting map showing the route of the old electric railway. There are a few remnants of the line that still can be seen today, such as the right of way along the south side of M-60 just off California Road near Dowagiac. You can clearly see the cut for the roadbed of the railway. Sometimes electric power poles are a clue also. This railway would have been heavily used by people looking for a way to get to resort areas in and around Lake Michigan. Interurban lines lost their battles with the automobile. The independence of driving your own car was too much to compete with. And the Great Depression also hurt interurban lines a great deal. The end of the Benton Harbor-St. Joe Railway came in August of 1935 when the interurban cars were ridden for the last time.

Dowagiac and Coloma Trip-6-21-16 027

Path of former interurban line in Michigan.


About historynut11

My name is Tim Ashley and I am a newspaper editor/reporter/photographer in Milford, Indiana, and live in nearby Goshen, Indiana. A deeply held and sincere passion of mine is history and learning from the past. I enjoy a wide variety of history topics, but particularly local history, noted American highways (Lincoln Highway and Route 66), railroad history and the Civil War. I believe we can learn much from the past and that past shapes who we are today. I also enjoy visiting museums and historical sites, as well as taking photos of remnants from the past still standing.
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