Timeline - 1879

  • January 17:  Fort Wayne, Jackson and Saginaw Railroad completes line from jackson to Fort Wayne.  [MRRC]

  • March:  Saginaw Valley & St. Louis opens line from St. Louis (MI) to Alma.  [MRRC]

  • May 12:  Port Huron and Northwestern Ry. opens line from Port Huron to Croswell.  [MRRC]

  • May 16:  The Toledo and Ann Arbor Railroad is opened from Ann Arbor to Toledo.  [AAD]

  • September 1:  Hobart and Manistee River Rail Road builds 9.2 miles from the south branch of the Manistee River to Hobart (on the GR&I).  3' gauge.  Abandoned in 1890.  [MRRC]

  • October 10:  The wreck of Michigan Central's "Pacific Express" at Jackson kills 18 passengers.  [MT]

    December 15:  Flint & Pere Marquette, under the name Saginaw & Mt. Pleasant, opens 3' line from Coleman to Mt. Pleasant.  Converted to standard gauge in 1888.  [MRRC]  [COHS-2/1995] reports this 3' build date as December 9, 1879 and the standard gauging date as July 13, 1884.

  • MCRR wrecks "Pacific Express" at Jackson, killing 18 passengers - 10/10/1879 - [MDOT]

  • Mid 1879:  Port Huron & Northwestern Ry. line narrow gauge line completed from Port Huron to Croswell.   [PMHS]

  • Several logging firms begin laying logging railroads north and northeasterly from the City of Cadillac. One was extended to Round Lake in February, 1884.   [MRC-7/87]

  • Haslett Park  (aka Pine Lake, aka Lake Lansing) Station opens on the GTW. [ GTWHS 08/01]

  • Saginaw & Mt. Pleasant RR is incorporated as a subsidiary of the Flint & Pere Marquette and builds a line connecting Mount Pleasant with the F&PM at Coleman.   [PMHS]

  • The Saginaw Valley and St. Louis Railroad Company extends tracks from St. Louis to Alma.  [MHM]

  • Hebard and Thurber (logging interests) build private logging road in the area of L'Anse and Pequamingg.  Sold to Ford Motor in 1920.  [MRRC]

  • The Chicago, Saginaw & Canada Railroad builds a branch from Edmore to Lakeview, as well as a line from Edmore to Cedar Lake.  Later becomes part of the Pere Marquette.  [PM45]

  • The Saginaw & Grand Rapids Railroad builds a line from Alma to St. Louis.  Later becomes part of the Pere Marquette.  [PM45]

  • Thomas Edison invents incandescent electric lamp.

  • The town of Hermansville, between Escanaba and Iron Mountain is founded by Charles J. L. Meyer.  Meyer advocated creosote treatment of railroad ties before 1890 and sold thousands of carloads of cedar ties to railroads all over the country, along with cedar blocks to municipalities for street paving.  [SOO-S/2006]


 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