Time Line - 1838

Last Year | Next Year

  • Panic of 1837 continues. Michigan not effected yet. [AAD]

  • February 3: A new depot on the Central is built at Campus Martius in Detroit. [AAD/RWC]

  • February 5:  The Central reaches Ypsilanti from Detroit. It has just four locomotives, five passenger cars and ten freight cars. It transported 29,000 passengers in 1838. [MCR-75/MDOT][MRRC]

  • February: Detroit citizens petition city council to extend the Central main track from the depot on Michigan Avenue and Woodward, down Woodward to the public wharf. [HWC]

  • April: The legislature authorizes $5,000 to extend the Central road from Campus Martis down Woodward to Atwater. The line is built but never used.  It is pulled up a short time later. [AAD]

  • May 19: The Detroit and Pontiac Railroad opens line from Detroit to Royal Oak. In Detroit, it runs along Dequindre Street to Jefferson, where the original depot was located. [MRRC/AAD]  [MCR-75] dates this as occurring in Autumn, 1838. [HWC] dates this as July, 1838.

  • July 20: Governor Stevens T. Mason digs the first shovel of dirt at Mt. Clemens for the Clinton and Kalamazoo canal. [AAD]

  • August 9: The Palmyra & Jacksonburg Railroad (later known as the Lake Shore's Jackson Branch) opens their line as far as Tecumseh. [MRRC/LS]

  • August 16: The Detroit and Pontiac Railroad reaches Birmingham from Royal Oak. [HWC][AAD][MCR-75] dates this extension as in Spring, 1841.

  • August: The first steam locomotive was purchased by the Detroit and Pontiac Railroad. The locomotive was built by Baldwin of Philadelphia, founder of the Baldwin Locomotive Works. It was named the Sherman Stevens, and later the Pontiac. It was later used as a switch engine for 40 years. Prior to the purchase of the locomotive, the D&P cars were drawn by horses. [HWC]

  • Circus travel by rail begins. [AARQJ]

Time line Key:

  • Railroad event in Michigan
  • Event relating to mining
  • Event related to car ferries
  • Event outside of Michigan
  • Improvement in Technology
  • Railroad built or extended
  • Railroad abandoned and/or removed
  • Economic panic or depression