Station: Sturgis, MI

LSMS Depot Sturgis MI LSMS Depot Sturgis MI LSMS Depot Sturgis MI Sturgis was settled about 1827 in southeast St. Joseph County about three miles north of the Indiana state line. The town was incorporated as a village in 1855 and became a city in 1895. [MPN]

Sturgis was located on the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern's "Old Road" line which was the first railroad to connect Toledo and Chicago, running through southern Michigan. It came through here in 1851. In addition to this east-west route, the north-south Grand Rapids & Indiana line between Fort Wayne, Indiana and Mackinaw City crossed here, as well as the MC/LSMS Goshen Branch, which ran north to Battle Creek and south to Goshen.

Photo Info/Credit: Top, and 2nd photos, the Lake Shore depot at Sturgis. [Alan Loftis photo/collection]. 3rd photo, a postcard view of the same depot.]

Sturgis was a furniture manufacturing center as early as 1884. [SBM-1884] It was also served by lumber yards, planning mills, as well as flour mills for nearby farms. Over the years, other manufacturing facilities were built here. See industry listing below.


Railroad Time Line

1851 - LS&MS arrives at Sturgis from the east and builds through to  South Bend the same year. [MRL]

1870 - The Grand Rapids & Indiana reaches Sturgis from Fort Wayne, and builds north to Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids the same year. [MRL] It crosses the Old Road on the northeast side of town.

1888 - The Canada and St. Louis railroad arrives in Sturgis from Goshen and then heads north to Battle Creek in 1890. It is leased to the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern. [MRL] This line crosses both the Old Road and the GR&I at what is to become "RK" interlocking.

1892 - GR&I has a turntable in the SE quadrant of the LS&MS/GR&I crossing for turning locomotives. No roundhouse is indicated. [SAN-1892. [SBM-1892] Still there in 1895, but gone by 1904.

1895 - The three-railroad crossing in Sturgis is protected by a target, and the crossing has a 1-story shanty for a day and night watchman on duty. [SBM-1895] In 1904, [SBM] indicates that a new 2-story target house has been constructed on the SE quadrant of the crossing. This is likely RK interlocking tower.

1911 - The GR&I passenger station and freight depot is noted on the east side of the main line, south of W. Chicago. Note: No Goshen branch station is noted. They may have used the Old Road passenger station. [SBM-1911]

1915 - The Lake Shore had a water tower at Sturgis in 1915. [NYCtt1915]

1923 - The LS&MS Old road had a water tank and pumping station just west of the passenger station. [SBM-1923]

1923 - The GR&I passenger station is now located north of W. Chicago Road.


Industry:

1884 [SBM-1884\

  • Cutler Cromer & Co. Furniture Mfg. - Joseph and Jefferson St. - On GR&I
  • J.G. Wait Furniture factory. Joseph and Jacob. On GR&I.
  • Whitmer and Wetmore Planing Mill - Jefferson and West Ave. on the GR&I.

1892 [SBM-1892]

  • Aulsbrook & Stures Furniture Factory, SE quadrant of railroad crossing. On GR&I
  • Grobhiser & Crosby Furniture Co. - NW quadrant of railroad crossing - On the GR&I
  • Wait & Barnes Furniture Co. - SW quadrant of railroad crossing - on the LSMS Old Road and GR&I

1894 [SBM-1894]

  • Aulsbrook & Sturges Furniture Factory, SE quadrant of railroad crossing. On GR&I
  • J.H. Whitmer Planning Mill and Sash & Door Factory - On Goshen Branch on Jacob St.
  • Sturgis Furniture Co. On Goshen Branch north of W. Chicago St.
  • Sturgis Roller Mills (Flour Mill) On GR&I at N. West Street.
  • Grobhiser & Crosby Furniture Co. - NW quadrant of railroad crossing - On the GR&I

1904 [SBM-1904]

  • Aulsbrook & Sturges Furniture Factory, SE quadrant of railroad crossing. On GR&I
  • B.F. Freeland Sons Company, manufacturers of Galvanized Iron Tanks. On GR&I 1/2 mile south of town.
  • Baluss - Dawson Co. Grain Elevator - opposite LS&MS Old Road passenger station on W. Hatch.
  • Berridge Shear Company. SE quadrant of railroad crossing at corner of Joseph and N. Jefferson. On GR&I.
  • Grobhiser & Crosby Furniture Co. - NW quadrant of railroad crossing - On the GR&I
  • GR&I Freight House. East side of right of way, south of W. Chicago.
  • J.H. Whitmer Planning Mill and Sash & Door Factory - On Goshen Branch on Jacob St.
  • Miller Hubbard Manufacturing Co. - SW quadrant of railroad crossing on Joseph Street.
  • Royal Chair Factory - On Goshen Branch, north of West Chicago. (Old Sturgis Furniture Factory?)
  • Sturgis Roller Mills (Flour mill). On GR&I south of Joseph Street.

1911 [SBM-1911]

  • Aulsbrook & Sturges Furniture Factory, SE quadrant of railroad crossing. On GR&I
  • Berridge Shear Company. SE quadrant of railroad crossing at corner of Joseph and N. Jefferson. On GR&I.
  • B.F. Freeland Sons Company, manufacturers of Galvanized Iron Tanks. On GR&I 1/2 mile south of town.
  • Blue & Gilhams Grain, Coal & Seed Co. - Next to LSMS Freight house across from passenger station.
  • Grobhiser-Cabinet Makers Cos. - NW quadrant of railroad crossing - On the GR&I
  • Kirch Manufacturing Co. (Curtain and Stair Rods) - On LSMS Old Road south side west of Jean Street.
  • Miller Hubbard Manufacturing Co. - SW quadrant of railroad crossing on Joseph Street.
  • Royal Chair Factory - On Goshen Branch, north of West Chicago.
  • Stebbins-Wilhelm Furniture Co. On LS&MS Old Road south side) at Jean Street.
  • Sturgis Gas Company. Gasometer on GR&I at Florence Street.
  • Sturgis Steel Go-Cart Co. On Goshen branch, south of W. Maple, scross track from B. F. Freeland.

1923 [SBM-1923]

  • Aulsbrook & Jones Furniture Factory, SE quadrant of railroad crossing. On GR&I
  • Berridge Shear Company. SE quadrant of railroad crossing at corner of Joseph and N. Jefferson. On GR&I.
  • Blue & Gilhams Coal and Grain Co. - Next to LSMS Freight house across from passenger station.
  • Charles R. Miller Co. Maker of Plumbers Woodwork - SW quadrant of railroad crossing on Joseph Street.
  • Grobhiser-Cabinet Makers Cos. - NW quadrant of railroad crossing - On the GR&I
  • Kirsch Manufacturing Co. (Curtain Rods and Upholstery Hardware. On LS&MS at N. Prospect.
  • Morency Van Buren Manufacturing. (plumbers brass goods) On Goshen Branch, south of W. Congress.
  • National Carbon Coated Paper Company (printing & paper carboning) - On Goshen Branch at West Avenue.
  • Royal Chair Factory - On Goshen Branch, north of West Chicago.
  • Sturgis Gas Company. Gasometer on GR&I at Florence Street.
  • Sturgis Grain Co. (grain elevator) between GR&I and Goshen Branch, north of W. Congress.
  • Sturgis Manufacturing Co. (go carts & curtain rods). on Goshen Branch at Norwood Avenue.
  • Wilhelm Furniture Co. - North of Jean Avenue.