Timeline - 1870

  • STATISTIC: Miles of railroads in operations this year: 1,638.  Miles built this year 313. [MRC/72]
  • January 1:  Michigan Central completes its line between Eaton Rapids and Grand Rapids via Charlotte. [MDOT/MRRC]

  • January 1: First train into Kalamazoo on the Kalamazoo & South Haven Railroad.  Leased to the Michigan Central on July 1, 1870. [MT/AAD]

  • January 15: The LI&P construction train reaches Ionia and crosses the diamond of the Detroit & Milwaukee.  "Crowds watched the progress of the work all day and the employees of the road had supper at the Eagle Hotel". [I&L]

  • January 17: The Ft. Wayne, Jackson & Saginaw open their line from Reading, Michigan to Angola, Indiana. [MCR-75]

  • January 31: The IL&P begins regular passenger service between Ionia and Lansing, a distance of 38 miles. [I&L]

  • February 1: The Chicago & Michigan Lake Shore opens their line from New Buffalo to St. Joseph. [MCR-75]

  • February 28: The Chicago & Michigan Lake Shore opens their line from St. Joseph to Grand Junction. [MCR-75]

  • Spring: The Grand River Valley Railroad was completed from Hastings to Grand Rapids. [MCR-75]

  • Spring: Severe spring thaws flood the Grand River and ice flows destroy one pier on the IL&P bridge near Ionia.  A temporary pile bridge was constructed, with plans to install a Howe truss bridge.  [I&P]

  • June 22: The Grand Rapids & Indiana completes a segment of their line from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Sturgis, Michigan. [MCR75]

  • June 22: An I&L accident derails cars four miles west of Ionia Village.  No one is hurt, but the Portland Advertiser calls for the railroad to install a telegraph line to reduce confusion in the future. [I&L]

  • June: The I&L constructs a station at Lyons, which is 90'x24'.  Cost is about $1,000. 

  • July 1: The Chicago & Michigan Lake Shore opens their line from Grand Junction to Montague. [MCR-75]

  • July 1: The Michigan Lake Shore Railroad reaches Muskegon from Allegan. [MCR-75]

  • July 1: The Kalamazoo & South Haven leased in perpetuity to the Michigan Central. [MT]

  • Summer: The Michigan Air Line Railroad completes their line from Jackson to Homer. [MCR-75]

  • August 9: The Ionia & Lansing reach Hoyt's (in Orleans Township) from Ionia. 

  • August 12: The Grand Rapids & Indiana open their line from Morley to Paris. [MCR-75]

  • August 29: Michigan Lake Shore Rail Road completes line from Ferrysburg (near Grand Haven) to Allegan. [MRRC]

  • August or September: The Grand Rapids & Indiana open their main line from Sturgis to Kalamazoo. [MCR-75]

  • September 19: The Detroit, Lansing & Lake Michigan open their line from Ionia to Greenville. The line is officially opened on October 14th.  [MCR-75/I&L]

  • September: Grand Rapids & Indiana RR was completed from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Kalamazoo. [MDOT]

  • Fall: The I&L build a engine house and turntable, for use in turning westbound locomotives for their trip back to Ionia and Lansing.  The engine house is later dismantled and rebuilt at Howard City when that village became the terminus of the road.  [I&L]

  • October 15:  Service on the Grand Trunk between Climax Prairie (now Climax) and Battle Creek begins. [MT]

  • October:  Grand Rapids & Indiana RR completes line from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids.  [MCR-75]

  • Autumn: The Michigan Air Line Railroad extends their line from Homer to Three Rivers. [MCR-75]

  • November: The Flint & Pere Marquette open their line from Averills to Clare. [MCR-75]

  • November: The I&L depot at Kiddville is completed.  It is 24'x70' and was built with funds raised by citizens and supplemented by the railroad. [I&L]

  • November: The I&L depot at Greenville is completed. [I&L]

  • December: The Grand Rapids & Indiana opens their line from Paris to Clam Lake (Cadillac). [MCR-75]

  • December: The Chicago & Lake Huron opens their line from Emmett to Attica. [MCR/75]

  • December 5: The Ft. Wayne, Jackson & saginaw open their line from Algona , Indiana to Ft. Wayne, Indiana. [MCR-75]

  • December 17: Kalamazoo & South Haven (MCRR) completes line from Kalamazoo to South Haven. [IT-12/79]

  • December 29: The Flint & Pere Marquette open their line from Clare to Lake. [MCR-75]

  • December 31: Michigan Railroad Mileage Totaled 1,739 miles. [MDOT]

  • December: Kalamazoo and South Haven RR builds Bloomingdale's (current) depot. [MHS]


  • Holly, Wayne and Monroe begins building south from Holly.  Reaches Monroe in 1872. [MRRC]

  • The Michigan Lake Shore Railroad Company builds a line between Allegan and Muskegon, via Holland.  Offered to LS&MS but not purchased.  It was consolidated with the Chicago & West Michigan (later PM) in 1881. [MRRC]

  • Flint and Pere Marquette reaches "Lake" from Averill.  [PM45]  The COHS notes this terminal being Reed City instead of Lake in 1870. [COHS-8/1997]

  • A four-mile long railroad from Calumet to Kale Linden is built - first in the area. (~1870). [AAD]

  • The Chicago & Northwestern opens their line from Negaunee to Ishpeming. [MCR-75]

  • Michigan communities voted a total of over $1,000,000 in tax-supported bonds to support railroad construction between 1863 and 1870 - [MDOT]

  • Jackson, MI leads the state in the number of passengers served, 72,482 in one year. [Jackson Weekly Citizen]

  • Grand Rapids & Indiana Depot built in Kalamazoo. [IT-12/79]

  • Detroit, Grand Haven and Milwaukee RR builds (current) depot at Grand Haven, the western terminus of their line. [MHM/MRT-I]

  • Charlotteville Lumber Co. abandons 7 mile long line in Berrien County. Built in 1856. [MRRC]

  • Nationally, there are 52,922 miles of railroad track. [STOV]

  • Lake Shore & Michigan Southern builds a depot at Jonesville.  Depot stands until at least 1974.  This depot is on the line north to jackson via Hanover and Horton.  It is different than the depot on the Old Road, which was built in 1898.  [IT-12/1974]

  • Lake Shore completes its Elkhart shops. [LS]

  • Tracks in Grand Haven are re-laid allowing Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad trains to continue to downtown Grand Haven over the river. [AAD]

  • Michigan's population, in the 1870 census is 1,184,282, an increase of 4.69% annually since the 1860 census. [MCR/73]

  • The LS&MS completes four 45-foot wood trestle spans (180 feet) on the Monroe Branch in Petersburg. [MCR/72]

  • The first mechanical interlocking system and lower quadrant type semaphore is placed into operation in the United States. [SAM]

 

 Timeline 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