Welcome to the official web site of the Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc.!
The Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc. (PMHS) was founded in 1995 as a means of collecting and disseminating information regarding the Pere Marquette Railroad. Our membership is made up of historians, former employees, modelers, and railfans. If you are interested in the PM, we encourage you to join.
The Pere Marquette Railroad Company was formed in 1900 by the merger of numerous Michigan railroads, the most prominent of them being the Flint and Pere Marquette, the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western, and the Chicago and West Michigan. During its existence, it came under the control of several other railroads at one time or another, including the Baltimore and Ohio and the Erie. In the 1920s, it came under the control of Oris and Mantis Van Sweringen, two financiers from Cleveland who also controlled the Nickel Plate, the Erie, and the Chesapeake and Ohio. Over the years, the C&O gained more and more control over the PM, until on June 6, 1947 the PM was formally merged into the Chesapeake and Ohio.
The Pere Marquette operated over trackage stretching from Buffalo, New York to Chicago, and from Bay View (Petoskey) Michigan to Toledo, Ohio, with trackage in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Ontario. In addition to its strictly rail operations, the PM also operated railway car ferries on the Detroit and St. Clair rivers, and a fleet of car ferries from Ludington across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee, Kewaunee and Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Nearly all of the trackage CSX operates in Michigan today is former PM trackage.
Please Note: The PMHS is unable to provide
information regarding specific PM employees,
as we do not possess any of the PM's employment records.
The C&O Ferries Solve a Transportation Problem for a Locomotive Restorer - The Association of Tourist Railroads and Railway Museums' online magazine recently featured an article on how the ferries S.S. Badger and S.S City of Midland 41 solved the problem of getting a derelict steam locomotive from Milwaukee to a new home at a museum site in Manitowoc. In this reprint of a story by Larry Bohn originally published in the Minnesota Tranportation Museum's Minnegazette in 1994, he describes the challenges of moving ex-Soo Line 0-6-0 #321 to its current home, back in the mid-1960s.
Thirteenth Michigan Railroad History Conference to Feature Strong PM Content- The presentation slate for the thirteenth Michigan Railroad History Conference has been announced, and features three sessions of particular interest to Pere Marquette enthusiasts. Scheduled for Saturday, October 18, 2015, this conference will feature presentations on PM-predecessor Flint & Holly Railroad, the Pere Marquette's Berkshires, and the history of rail service through Alden, Michigan, which was served by the PM.
The Conference will also feature presentations on other subjects, such as interurban operations in Mid-Michigan and an examination of the New York Central in Detroit. Field trips to trace interurban routes are planned for the day before and after the Conference. Details and registration information can be found here.
Pere Marquette Historical Society members receive six issues of PM Tracks, the bimonthly PMHS newsletter each year. Members also receive notices of special projects, such as our custom-run PM freight cars.
We hold an annual "get-together" for members and their immediate families each year at a town along the former-PM right-of-way.
To join the Pere Marquette Historical Society, send a check or money order for $30.00 (Canadian residents $35.00 US) payable to the "Pere Marquette Historical Society" to:
|Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc.
P.O. Box 422
Grand Haven, MI 49417-0422
A copy of our membership application form is available on this Web site.
The Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization incorporated in the State of Michigan and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.
This site would not be possible without the gracious assistance of fellow PMHS members and numerous others who have contributed information and photographs for use on this site, most notably:
And of course, no work on the PM would be complete without acknowledging the fine work of late PMHS President Art Million, who was not only a pioneer PM historian, but has written most of the books and articles published about the PM over the past several decades. Art provided valuable background information (and error-correction!) for this site.
Use of this Web site and the materials contained within it is subject to specific terms and conditions.
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All original contents of this Web site are Copyright © 2015, John F. ("Fritz") Milhaupt, on behalf of the Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc., All Rights Reserved.