Station: Elk Rapids, MI

PM ELk Rapids Depot Elk Rapids is a village in the very southwest corner of Antrim County, nestled between Grand Traverse Bay and Elk Lake.

Photo info: This is the Pere Marquette depot at Elk Rapids in the early 1900's.


The area was settled in 1848 and the village platted in 1852 as Stevens and renamed to its current name in 1858. [MPN] The Chicago & West Michigan railroad established a branch from Williamsburg (near Traverse City in Grand Traverse County) which extended to this townsite.

Time Line

1873. An iron company has just completed a charcoal furnace at Elk Rapids, with a capacity of about 30 tons of pig iron per day. [PHTH-1873-0703]

1874. The Western Union Telegraph Company has extended their line from Traverse City to Elk Rapids. The line is ready for business as soon as an operator arrives and an office can be secured at Elk Rapids. The line will probably be extended next spring to Charlevoix. The same company will build a branch line from Traverse City to Northport. [DFP-1874-1927]

1874. The Elk Rapids Progress says that the village has a saw-mill, cooper-shop, tin-shop, flouring mill and iron smelting furnace, giving employment to 257 men, and the value of the annual products is over $430,000. [PHTH-1874-728]

1892. The Chicago & Western Michigan railroad is extended to Elk Rapids and trains will commence running before New Years. Prior to this, the travelling public and freight came in by lake schooner or trail. [LDP-1891-1231]

1905. New engine house. The PM erected a two-stall frame engine house to replace one destroyed by fire. [PMAR-1905]


  • Elk Rapids Iron Company - see dedicated page.


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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