THE MANISTEE RAILROAD
HISTORY OF MANISTEE COUNTY, MICHIGAN

With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches
of Some of Its Men and Pioneers.
Published 1882 by H.R. Page & Co., Chicago

THE MANISTEE RAILROAD
Until December, 1881, the screech of the "iron horse" never awoke the echoes in the vicinity of the city of Manistee. The manufacture of lumber was the industry of overshadowing importance, and the great highways of Lake Michigan afforded ample facilities for the transportation of that product. For several years efforts were continually made by a portion of the citizens of the city to secure a railroad, but they were not successful until the Manistee branch of the Flint and Pere Marquette Road was secured. This road was completed and commenced business in December, 1881.

This branch leaves the main line eighteen miles east of Ludington, at Manistee Junction, at which point the company has erected a neat depot building. The road runs northwesterly, and the first station is Tallman, four miles from the junction. It is a village of 500 inhabitants, laid out by R.G. Peters and Horace Butters, of the firm H. Butters & Co., some two years ago.

The next is Lincoln, five miles distant, situated on a small stream bearing the same name. The station is named after the township and postoffice bearing the same name. There are many fine farms in the township, the timber being beech, maple, elm, basswood and ash, with some scattering cork pine. There are two sawmills in operation, one a water power by Tallman & Thompson, the other a steam power, owned by Rothchilds, Case & Co. The latter have a store, and have laid out a village.

The road crosses the Sauble River at this point, on which considerable lumbering is done.

The Little Manistee River is crossed by a substantial trestle work 1,800 feet long, and some thirty feet high.

The village of Stronach is situated at the head of Manistee Lake, four miles from Manistee, and twenty-one miles from the junction. This is an active place, about 600 inhabitants, where large quantities of lumber and shingles are manufactured, and a salt well will this Winter be sunk.

The road from Stronach runs along the easterly shore of Manistee Lake, through the extensive mill yards of John Canfield, R.G. Peters, and Wheeler, Magill & Co. The road bed has been built beyond Stronach, across a half a mile of swamp, two dredges having excavated channels on each side, throwing the earth in the center for the embankment, and three bridges have been constructed across the Manistee. The company has purchased some thirty-five acres of land and a number of feet of water frontage on the lake, adjoining the city limits for depot purposes, and buildings are being erected thereon.

The road, which is entirely laid with steel rails, is twenty-six and one-half miles long, and the road bed is in excellent condition.

The Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad, of which the Manistee road is a branch, is one of the most successfully operated roads in the state. The gross earnings of this road for six months of 1881 and 1882 were as follows:

Month 1881 1882
January $131, 528.09 $168,004.39
February 119,721.43 163,902.74
March 158,214.15 195,813.55
April 171,445.99 188,569.20
May 162,539.57 175,112.63
June 160,098.48 160,240.38
$903,547.71 $1,051,642.85
Operating expenses 642,805.28 666,675.85
Net $260,742.43 $348,967.85
Operating expenses, per cent 71.14 63.39
Miles operated 317.71 345.16

After payment of coupons, there remained $250,602.12 for six months, equal to 3.85 per cent on preferred stock. The pay rolls of the company for six months of 1882, ending June 30, including construction of cars and buildings, were $433,777.20.

The gross earnings for July were $147,461.80, against $137,639.60 in 1881, and a gain of $9,822.20.

There was expended for construction account in the first six months of this year the sum of $123,080.59.

The increase in passenger traffic for the first six months of 1882 was $66,603.70, and for the month of July, 1882, $11,276.57.

The AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY
established an office in Manistee, in January, 1882, soon after the completion of the railroad. The office was first located on Oak Street, and Mr. J.M. Ramsdell was agent. He resigned early in February, and was succeeded by Mr. G.R. Giesman, and the office removed to the insurance office of Douville & Giesman. In March the office was again removed to its present location, at the corner of River and Maple Streets.

THE MANISTEE FLEET
The following is a list of steamers and vessels of Manistee, with the names of the owners. When it is considered that nearly all of these steamers, vessels, barges and tugs are first class, both in size and appointment, and that several carry near half a million feet of lumber each as cargo, it will be understood that Manistee stands second only to Chicago and Milwaukee in the magnificence of her fleet.

CANFIELD TUG LINE
Dwight Culter, Jr., steamer.
Tug Hunter Savidge.
Tug C. J. Gnewuch.
Tug Irma L. Wheeler
Tug Frank Canfield
Tug J. C. Osgood
Tug C. Williams

LOUIS SAND'S FLEET
Propeller R. G. Peters
Propeller Maggie Marshall
Schooner Isabella Sands
Schooner A. W. Lucky
Schooner Arendel

ENGELMANN'S FLEET
Steam Propeller Albert Mitchell
Schooner J. B. Prime
Schooner M. Capron
Steamer John A. Dix, Engelmann & Cochrane
Schooner Annie O. Hanson, Engelmann & Babcock
Schooner Cuba, same.

RUDDOCK, NUTTALL & CO'S FLEET
Steam propeller Fayette.
Schooner Windsor

CHARLES RIETZ & BRO'S FLEET
Steam propeller Charles Rietz
Schooner John Marks
Schooner Florence Lester
Schooner Agnes L. Potter

DEMPSEY, CARTIER & CO'S FLEET
Tug A. P. Wright
Tug Wm. R. Crowell
Schooner City of Toledo
Schooner Truman Mose
(L. Sands has one-quarter interest in these vessels).

R. G. PETER'S FLEET
Steam propeller Norman.
Schooner R. C. Crawford
Steam barge.

MISCELLANEOUS
Tug Shepherd, H.T. THORPE
Tug Dick Davis, J.E. RUMBELL
Steam propeller Lewis Gilbert, and schooner Wonder, SEYMOUR Brothers.
Steamer John Smith, John SMITH
Propeller Grace Patterson, Wm. K. PATTERSON
Schooner Dan Hayes, A.W. FARR
Propeller Milwaukee, WING, MORGAN & Co.
Schooner Len Higby, C. MICHAELSON
Schooner John Mee, W.W. CHAPIN
Tug Gem, Dan PADDER
Schooner Lucia A. Simpson, FILER BROS.
Steam propeller James H. Shrigley, CANFIELD & SHRIGLEY
Schooner Mama Jepson, George JEPSON
Schooner Birdie, H. GEZON
Schooner Traveler, X. LAVAKE

The MANISTEE WATER COMPANY
This company was incorporated May 8, 1882, for the purpose of putting in and operating a system of water works for the convenience of the city. The company is composed of twenty-two stockholders, and has a capital of $200,000. The officers are: A.O Wheeler, president; G.A. Hart, secretary; T.J. Ramsdell, treasurer.

About the middle of July, after a thorough investigation by a committee, the Holly system was adopted. The building, which is a magnificent structure, is located upon three lots purchased of John Canfield, Esq., at the corner of Tamarack and South River Streets. The pipes run substantially as follows: Beginning at Tamarack Street with a sixteen-inch pipe, the same runs along First Street to Spruce; thence eastward, along First Street to Sibben Street, with a twelve inch pipe; thence south to Third Street, east to Ramsdell, south to Fifth, and east to Koscuisko Street, with a ten-inch pipe; thence south on Koscuisko Street to Eighth, east to Vine Street, and south to Eleventh Street, with an eight inch pipe; thence east on Eleventh Street one block, and south to Babcock's mill and the foot of Rietz's hill, with a six-inch pipe. An eight-inch main, connecting with the sixteen-inch main at Spruce Street, runs north to South River Street, and along South River Street to Sands' office. Between the First Street main and the South River Street main there are two connecting mains - an eight-inch pipe on Division and s six-inch pipe on Maple which continues to Fifth Street, where it intersects a main of like size running the entire length of Fifth Street, and turning north at the western end of Fifth Street and running north to Third. A six-inch main also runs from the large main on First Street along Cypress to Fifth, connecting with the Fifth Street main. A six-inch pipe also extends from the Maple Street main on Fourth to Oak. Cedar Street has a six-inch main extending from the works to Eighth. The river is crossed at a point near the steamboat dock, and an eight-inch main runs from the opposite bank to Fifth Avenue, thence to Washington, north on Washington to Harrison Street, east on Harrison to the location of the new depot, where it is succeeded by a six-inch main running northeast to the mill of the Manistee lumber Company. According to the contract, the works are to be completed and ready for operation by the first of 1883.

POPULATION AND GROWTH
The population of the city in 1870, the year after it was incorporated, was 3,343; in 1874, 4,894; in 1880, 7,075. In 1881 the school census was as follows: First Ward, 447; Second Ward, 501; Third Ward, 502; Fourth Ward, 644. Total, 2,094. In 1880 the total number of children included in the school census was 1,814. The increase of a year ago was 280, and the population of the city at that time could be safely estimated at 8,300. At the present time it is between 9,000 and 10,000, and including its suburbs about 13, 000.

BOOM COMPANIES
The first saw mills of Manistee were located in the very heart of the pine forests, and the logs were cut within easy hauling distance of the mills. That was at a time when the possibility of ever exhausting the supply of standing pine never entered into the calculations of the lumbermen. Northern Michigan was a wilderness of pine, and trees that would now gladden the sight of a logger, were then scornfully passed by.

Where the city of Manistee now stands was then covered with forest which gradually disappeared before the woodman's ax. As the breadth of clearing increased, attention was directed to the two branches of the Manistee River for logging operations. The history of the improvement in this river is given elsewhere on these pages.

THE BOOM COMPANY OF MANISTEE
was organized February 23, 1869, being incorporated under the laws of the state. The incorporators were John Canfield, Geo. W. Robinson, T.J. Ramsdell, E.E. Benedict, E.G. Filer, Henry B. Tisdale.

The first board of directors was composed of John Canfield, E.D. Wheeler, G.W. Robinson, T.J. Ramsdell, E.G. Filer. Officers: John Canfield, president; T.J. Ramsdell, secretary and treasurer.

The present officers are the same with the addition of N.G. Robinson, superintendent and boom master.

The "drive" is let by contractors for five years. The present contractor is M.R. Denning.

THE FILER CITY BOOM COMPANY
was incorporated in the Spring of 1869 for the purpose of operating on the little Manistee River. The incorporators were, Geo. W.  Robinson, E.G. Filer, D.L. Filer, E.W. Filer and T.J. Ramsdell. Officers: Geo. W. Robinson, president; T.J. Ramsdell, secretary and treasurer. The present officers are E.G. Filer, president; T.J. Ramsdell, secretary and treasurer; N.G. Robinson, superintendent.

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1882 History of Manistee County

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