Location: Milwaukee Junction, MI

Milwaukee Junction was created when the Chicago, Detroit & Canada Grand Trunk Junction railroad built southwest from Port Huron in 1859, and crossed the Detroit & Milwaukee railroad (which had been built in 1838). This location was named after the Detroit & Milwaukee railroad.

When created in 1859, the Milwaukee Junction area was well outside the city limits of Detroit, and along with Grand Trunk Junction became the first "ring" of industrial belt lines around the city.

The two railroads which crossed here were influenced by Canadian interests, and they established a passenger station here and freight interchange. Ultimately under common ownership, the Grand Trunk Western railroad had major shop facilities here. (See their separate pages for additional information).

As described in the Detroit Free Press in 1881, "the Junction" is meant all that territory bounded by the Detroit & Milwaukee railroad track on the east, the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern and Butler (Wabash) railroads on the south, and the Grand Trunk, which, leaving the Lake Shore and Butler Roads just east of the Woodward avenue station, curves away to the northward, and intersects the D&M railroad at the point where the depot is located. These roads bound a triangular track of land of several hundred acres in extent. [DFP-1881-0702]


Notes

The initial railroad crossing here was a "stop and proceed" crossing or perhaps had a ball target, as interlocking technology was not adopted until the 1870's. The Milwaukee Junction Tower was constructed after 1872 when the Detroit & Bay City came through, crossing the Detroit to Grand Haven route.


Time Line

1838. The Detroit & Milwaukee railroad is built from the Detroit riverfront to Royal Oak. It reaches Pontiac in 1843, and finally Grand Haven in 1870.

1855. The Detroit. Monroe & Toledo (later Lake Shore & Michigan Southern) is built north from Monroe to the Detroit area. It crosses the MC at Grand Trunk Junction (later West Detroit), and comes within a ½ mile of Milwaukee Junction, when it curves east and south to a connection with the Detroit & Milwaukee at D&M Junction. It uses the D&M to reach Brush Street station, which it used for about fifty years.

1859. The Chicago, Detroit & Canada Grand Trunk Junction railroad is built from Grand Trunk Junction (later West Detroit) to Fort Gratiot (near Port Huron). It crosses the D&M that would become Milwaukee Junction  

1867. Two little colored boys, named Enos and Edward Larkins, were yesterday arrested by Detective Sullivan for having engaged in the late attempt to throw a train off the track near Milwaukee Junction. They had piled a lot of rails crosswise of the track, and when the train approached, let fly a volley of stones, some of which passed through the windows, but without injuring anybody. They are both sharp little darkies, and deny the charge, but an employee on the train recognized them, and says that these are the same parties. An examination of the case will be had today. [DFP-1867-0619]. Editors note: This article was presented as written and represents the racial bias by the Detroit Free Press in 1867.

1869. An emigrant woman gave birth to a child at Milwaukee Junction and threw it into the [toilet] vault. After her train left the junction one of the railroad employees heard the child cry, ripped up the floor over the vault and rescued the almost suffocated little victim. Some ladies cared for it, dressed it, and one of them brought it to the city and gave it in charge of the police, who turned it over to the Director of the Poor. The brutal mother has not been arrested. [DFP-1869-0712]

1872. The Detroit & Bay City railroad (later MC) is built from Bay City Junction north to Bay City via Milwaukee Junction. It crosses the Detroit & Milwaukee line at Milwaukee Junction. An interlocking tower is built here.

1873. Mention has been made of a tame black bear escaping from an Oakland County farm, and of the animal being seen near Milwaukee Junction. A section gang discovered his bearship near the track about two miles from the Junction. They went for him lively with handspikes and crowbars. He took a position in a fence corner and hit back, and, after he had nearly undressed two of the men, they decided that they didn't want to capture him. [DFP-1873-0323]

1875. An incoming freight train on the D&M railroad collided with an outward bound stock train on the GT railway at D&M Junction. The Grand Trunk switchman neglected to hoist the proper signal, it is claimed, and the engineer of the D&M train thinking his course was clear ran into the GT train, splitting in two a car loaded with cattle and disabling his own engine badly. Cattle were thrown violently from the car and they scampered off into an adjoining field. The engineer and fireman of the D&M train leaped from the engine to safety. The track was cleared in about two hours. [DFP-1875-0328]

1875. The Junction Hotel was located opposite the depot at Milwaukee Junction. [DFP-1875-0725]

1875. Christmas. A fire broke out in the Railroad Exchange Hotel at the D&M Junction. The hotel was destroyed. Fire extended to the railroad station and freight buildings and they too were burned together with their contents. The cause of the hotel fire was likely a lighted lamp left in the sitting room of the hotel on account of sickness in the family of the landlord. [DFP-1875-1225]

1881. March. The managers of the Butler Road are pushing matters in every possible way so as to be ready for business as fast as it comes. At Milwaukee Junction they have completed and ready for use the round-house, coal bins, etc., and today they will put a large force of men at work on the depot buildings at Willis Station, 26 miles from Detroit. [DFP-1881-0315]

1883. A serious fire occurred at 2:50 o'clock in the frame roundhouse of the Wabash Railroad near Milwaukee Junction. The reflection of the fire was seen by the watchman in Engine House No. 5, who turned in the alarm. The fire spread but the department could have been of no service as there was no water to be had. The round house and two engines in it were totally destroyed. The engines were built to carry heavy freight. There was a third engine in the house which had sufficient steam up to enable the night watchman to get it out. The fire was undoubtedly the work of incendiaries. The large lumber yard of M.C. Huyett & Co. adjoins the round house and was threatened with destruction but a conflagration was prevented. 

The watchman had occasion to go out to look after an engine when he saw a blaze. He noticed two men jump from one of the engines and run out. He got out the engine which had steam up and followed the two men and saw who they were. He kept watch of them until Patrolman Marshall, who had his attention attracted by the fire, came up. The officer was informed and the two men were taken into custody. They were lodged at the Fremont Street police station. One prisoner said he was a molder at the Detroit Stove Works, and the other said he was a tramp. They said they were given permission to stay for the night in the round house and were awakened by the fire and they ran out. They were charged with arson.

1884. Citizens of Detroit who have not visited Milwaukee Junction this year will need a guide-book, that locality having been so changed by the erection of railroad shops. [DFP-1884-0617]

1884. July. When the now nearly completed shops of the Peninsular Car Company are finished, the neighborhood around Milwaukee Junction will contain upwards of 10,000 population. New stores and dwellings are going up with rapidity, and the junction will rival the "eastern junction" (Grand Junction) with a strong rival to its western partner. [DFP-1884-0726]

1884. September. The foundry and wheel department of the Peninsular Car Works of Detroit were destroyed by fire this morning. Two hundred men were thrown out of employment. The company will not rebuild on the old site, consequently the workmen will be idle for 30-60 days when the new works of the company at Milwaukee Junction will be ready for occupancy. [PHTH-1884-0916]


Industry

  • Detroit Bending Works - NE corner of St. Aubin and Palester St. - Served by DGH&M (1874) [SBM]
  • Detroit Carriage Works - NW of Campau and Hastings St. - Served by GT 1884 [SBM]
  • Gale Sulky Harrow Manufacturing Co. - NE Corner of Milwaukee Ave and Hasting Street - Served by GT - 1884 [SBM]
  • M.C. Huyett & Company - Planing Mill - (1882)
  • Peninsula Car Company - railroad cars - built in 1884

Location: Milwaukee Junction, MI

Milwaukee Junction was created when the Chicago, Detroit & Canada Grand Trunk Junction railroad built southwest from Port Huron in 1859, and crossed the Detroit & Milwaukee railroad (which had been built in 1838). This location was named after the Detroit & Milwaukee railroad.

When created in 1859, the Milwaukee Junction area was well outside the city limits of Detroit, and along with Grand Trunk Junction became the first "ring" of industrial belt lines around the city.

The two railroads which crossed here were influenced by Canadian interests, and they established a passenger station here and freight interchange. Ultimately under common ownership, the Grand Trunk Western railroad had major shop facilities here. (See their separate pages for additional information).

As described in the Detroit Free Press in 1881, "the Junction" is meant all that territory bounded by the Detroit & Milwaukee railroad track on the east, the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern and Butler (Wabash) railroads on the south, and the Grand Trunk, which, leaving the Lake Shore and Butler Roads just east of the Woodward avenue station, curves away to the northward, and intersects the D&M railroad at the point where the depot is located. These roads bound a triangular track of land of several hundred acres in extent. [DFP-1881-0702]


Notes

The initial railroad crossing here was a "stop and proceed" crossing or perhaps had a ball target, as interlocking technology was not adopted until the 1870's. The Milwaukee Junction Tower was constructed after 1872 when the Detroit & Bay City came through, crossing the Detroit to Grand Haven route.


Time Line

1838. The Detroit & Milwaukee railroad is built from the Detroit riverfront to Royal Oak. It reaches Pontiac in 1843, and finally Grand Haven in 1870.

1855. The Detroit. Monroe & Toledo (later Lake Shore & Michigan Southern) is built north from Monroe to the Detroit area. It crosses the MC at Grand Trunk Junction (later West Detroit), and comes within a ½ mile of Milwaukee Junction, when it curves east and south to a connection with the Detroit & Milwaukee at D&M Junction. It uses the D&M to reach Brush Street station, which it used for about fifty years.

1859. The Chicago, Detroit & Canada Grand Trunk Junction railroad is built from Grand Trunk Junction (later West Detroit) to Fort Gratiot (near Port Huron). It crosses the D&M that would become Milwaukee Junction  

1867. Two little colored boys, named Enos and Edward Larkins, were yesterday arrested by Detective Sullivan for having engaged in the late attempt to throw a train off the track near Milwaukee Junction. They had piled a lot of rails crosswise of the track, and when the train approached, let fly a volley of stones, some of which passed through the windows, but without injuring anybody. They are both sharp little darkies, and deny the charge, but an employee on the train recognized them, and says that these are the same parties. An examination of the case will be had today. [DFP-1867-0619]. Editors note: This article was presented as written and represents the racial bias by the Detroit Free Press in 1867.

1869. An emigrant woman gave birth to a child at Milwaukee Junction and threw it into the [toilet] vault. After her train left the junction one of the railroad employees heard the child cry, ripped up the floor over the vault and rescued the almost suffocated little victim. Some ladies cared for it, dressed it, and one of them brought it to the city and gave it in charge of the police, who turned it over to the Director of the Poor. The brutal mother has not been arrested. [DFP-1869-0712]

1872. The Detroit & Bay City railroad (later MC) is built from Bay City Junction north to Bay City via Milwaukee Junction. It crosses the Detroit & Milwaukee line at Milwaukee Junction. An interlocking tower is built here.

1873. Mention has been made of a tame black bear escaping from an Oakland County farm, and of the animal being seen near Milwaukee Junction. A section gang discovered his bearship near the track about two miles from the Junction. They went for him lively with handspikes and crowbars. He took a position in a fence corner and hit back, and, after he had nearly undressed two of the men, they decided that they didn't want to capture him. [DFP-1873-0323]

1875. An incoming freight train on the D&M railroad collided with an outward bound stock train on the GT railway at D&M Junction. The Grand Trunk switchman neglected to hoist the proper signal, it is claimed, and the engineer of the D&M train thinking his course was clear ran into the GT train, splitting in two a car loaded with cattle and disabling his own engine badly. Cattle were thrown violently from the car and they scampered off into an adjoining field. The engineer and fireman of the D&M train leaped from the engine to safety. The track was cleared in about two hours. [DFP-1875-0328]

1875. The Junction Hotel was located opposite the depot at Milwaukee Junction. [DFP-1875-0725]

1875. Christmas. A fire broke out in the Railroad Exchange Hotel at the D&M Junction. The hotel was destroyed. Fire extended to the railroad station and freight buildings and they too were burned together with their contents. The cause of the hotel fire was likely a lighted lamp left in the sitting room of the hotel on account of sickness in the family of the landlord. [DFP-1875-1225]

1881. March. The managers of the Butler Road are pushing matters in every possible way so as to be ready for business as fast as it comes. At Milwaukee Junction they have completed and ready for use the round-house, coal bins, etc., and today they will put a large force of men at work on the depot buildings at Willis Station, 26 miles from Detroit. [DFP-1881-0315]

1883. A serious fire occurred at 2:50 o'clock in the frame roundhouse of the Wabash Railroad near Milwaukee Junction. The reflection of the fire was seen by the watchman in Engine House No. 5, who turned in the alarm. The fire spread but the department could have been of no service as there was no water to be had. The round house and two engines in it were totally destroyed. The engines were built to carry heavy freight. There was a third engine in the house which had sufficient steam up to enable the night watchman to get it out. The fire was undoubtedly the work of incendiaries. The large lumber yard of M.C. Huyett & Co. adjoins the round house and was threatened with destruction but a conflagration was prevented. 

The watchman had occasion to go out to look after an engine when he saw a blaze. He noticed two men jump from one of the engines and run out. He got out the engine which had steam up and followed the two men and saw who they were. He kept watch of them until Patrolman Marshall, who had his attention attracted by the fire, came up. The officer was informed and the two men were taken into custody. They were lodged at the Fremont Street police station. One prisoner said he was a molder at the Detroit Stove Works, and the other said he was a tramp. They said they were given permission to stay for the night in the round house and were awakened by the fire and they ran out. They were charged with arson.

1884. Citizens of Detroit who have not visited Milwaukee Junction this year will need a guide-book, that locality having been so changed by the erection of railroad shops. [DFP-1884-0617]

1884. July. When the now nearly completed shops of the Peninsular Car Company are finished, the neighborhood around Milwaukee Junction will contain upwards of 10,000 population. New stores and dwellings are going up with rapidity, and the junction will rival the "eastern junction" (Grand Junction) with a strong rival to its western partner. [DFP-1884-0726]

1884. September. The foundry and wheel department of the Peninsular Car Works of Detroit were destroyed by fire this morning. Two hundred men were thrown out of employment. The company will not rebuild on the old site, consequently the workmen will be idle for 30-60 days when the new works of the company at Milwaukee Junction will be ready for occupancy. [PHTH-1884-0916]


Industry

  • Detroit Bending Works - NE corner of St. Aubin and Palester St. - Served by DGH&M (1874) [SBM]
  • Detroit Carriage Works - NW of Campau and Hastings St. - Served by GT 1884 [SBM]
  • Gale Sulky Harrow Manufacturing Co. - NE Corner of Milwaukee Ave and Hasting Street - Served by GT - 1884 [SBM]
  • M.C. Huyett & Company - Planing Mill - (1882)
  • Peninsula Car Company - railroad cars - built in 1884

Bibliography

The following sources are utilized in this website. [SOURCE-YEAR-MMDD-PG]:

  • [AAB| = All Aboard!, by Willis Dunbar, Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids ©1969.
  • [AAN] = Alpena Argus newspaper.
  • [AARQJ] = American Association of Railroads Quiz Jr. pamphlet. © 1956
  • [AATHA] = Ann Arbor Railroad Technical and Historical Association newsletter "The Double A"
  • [AB] = Information provided at Michigan History Conference from Andrew Bailey, Port Huron, MI

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