Station:  Jackson, MI

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Jackson Time Line

  • 1841 - Central line arrives from Detroit
  • 1844 - Central line builds west towards Albion
  • 1857 - LSMS Jackson Branch arrives from Tecumseh.
  • 1865 - the Jackson, Lansing and Saginaw builds north from Jackson to Lansing, arriving there a year later.
  • 1868 - the Grand River Valley (later the MC Grand Rapids branch) is built northwest to Grand Rapids..
  • 1869 - The Fort Wayne, Jackson and Saginaw arrives from Fort Wayne, via Jonesville
  • 1870 - The Michigan Air Line is built between Jackson and Niles
  • 1883 - the Grand Trunk Western arrives in Jackson from Pontiac.
  • 1886 - Cincinnati Northern arrives from Hudson and beyond
  • ~1900 - Sometime after the turn of the century, the Jackson & Northern narrow 24" gauge (20 lb. rail) was built north from Jackson towards the area of the current prison.  This road was removed by 1929.


     Jackson was founded in 1827 and originally known as Jacksonburgh.  It was named after U. S. President Andrew Jackson.  The town was first platted in 1830.  Jacksonburgh was changed to Jacksonopolis in 1835 and to Jackson in 1838.  It became the county seat in 1833, incorporated as a Village in 1843 and as a city in 1857.

     Railroads came to Jackson in December, 1841 with the arrival of the "Central" road, owned by the State of Michigan.  This line became the Michigan Central Railroad soon after.  The road built west from Jackson to Albion in 1844.  In 1857, the Central's chief competitor, the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern built their line north from Tecumseh to give Jacksonian's a second option for rail travel.

     Beginning in 1865, a series of railroads were built to or from Jackson.  Many were owned, in part, by Jackson community leaders and many had the backing of the Michigan Central.  Directorships of these railroads will often in common.  In 1865 the JL&S was built north to Lansing.  Three years later, an off-shoot of this road left the line at Rives Jct. (north of Jackson) to Grand Rapids.  The following year, in 1869, the FWJ&S arrives from the south and in 1870 the Michigan Air Line was completed between Jackson and Niles.  All of these roads were consolidated into the Michigan Central at some point.  In 1883, the "foreign" Grand Trunk Western arrived from Pontiac, and finally the Cincinnati Northern arrived from the south (a "Big Four" line).

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