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PM Passenger Car Pictorial now available. Click here for more information.

Available Now!

 

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.


News

Slide Presentation to Discuss Waterford, Ontario - For a number of years now, Action Hobbies, located in the southwest Ontario town of Kingsville, has been holding a series of Historical Slide Shows. The topics typically cover the rich railroading history of southern Ontario.

The fifteenth slide show, scheduled for Saturday evening, April 26, will feature two presentations by Helmut Ostermann. One of these is titled “Whatever Happened to Waterford?” This will document through historical photographs the rise and fall of the once-busy railway town of Waterford, Ontario. Over the decades, trains from nearly a dozen railroads passed through Waterford, and in the steam era, Waterford served those trains with track pans providing water-on-the-fly. Waterford is the only place where Pere Marquette steam locomotives routinely took water from track pans.

The second presentation will be of a more artistic bent, when “Unconventional Medium Format Night Railway Photography” explores the techniques of using a medium-format camera to capture striking nighttime images in the spirit of O. Winston Link, with many examples from Ostermann’s own extensive catalog of work.

The program will be presented Saturday, April 26th, beginning at 7.30pm at Action Hobbies, located at 197 Lansdowne Avenue in Kingsville, Ontario, just down the street from the former PM depot (now the Mettawas Station restaurant). Phone (519) 733-2619 for more information, or visit the Action Hobbies blog.


 

PM 1225 Returns to Operation, Train Festival Scheduled for June - PM Berkshire #1225 returned to operation in November, in time to pull a number of the Steam Railroading Institute's popular North Pole Express excursions. More recently, it pulled the final miles of the "1225 Return to Steam" excursion on March 15. Issues with bridge inspection paperwork limited its operation on the former Ann Arbor Railroad mainline, so the trip to Clare was pulled by diesels, with 1225 taking over the final miles into Owosso on the return trip.

1225 will join Nickel Plate Berkshire #765, Little River Railroad 0-4-0T #1 and 4-6-2 #110, the Gramlings' 0-4-0T #75 and 0-6-0T #126, and Kloke Locomotive Works' 4-4-0 Levithan for Train Expo 2014, to be held June 20-22 in Owosso. This will be the largest gathering of operating steam locomotives in the Great Lakes since the Steam Railroading Institute's 2009 Train Festival.


 

Walthers Releases C&O Pere Marquette Streamliner cars - During late January, Walthers delivered the first batch of its HO scale streamlined passenger cars. The second batch, consisting of the coach-diner, 10-6 Pullman and lunch counter-buffet-lounge, was delivered in late February. The E7s are now projected for late July delivery.

A comprehensive review of the passenger cars appears in the March-April 2013 issue of PM Tracks.

C&O Coaches, HO scale
C&O Coaches, HO Scale

C&O Lunch Counter Buffet Lounge and 10-6 Sleeper
C&O Lunch Counter-Buffet-Lounge and 10-6 Sleeper, HO Scale

 

PM #1223 Featured in Railfan and Railroad - Pere Marquette Berkshire #1223, preserved at the Tri-Cities Historical Society's railroad display in Grand Haven, Michigan, is featured in a three-page article titled "The Pride of Grand Haven: Pere Marquette No. 1223" in the March 2012 issue of Railfan and Railroad magazine.

 

 

Joining the PMHS

PMHS 2001 Get-Together BookletPere 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.
Membership Officer
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.

Acknowledgments

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:

  • Tom Amrine
  • Dennis Bean-Larson
  • Willard Benedict
  • Ben Boshoven
  • Gary Boyer
  • J.C. Carlson
  • Art Chavez
  • Bob DeClerg
  • William Dewey
  • T.J. Gaffney
  • Eddie Gross
  • Hugh J. Hales III
  • Max S. Hanley
  • E.L. Huddleston
  • Roger Kirkpatrick
  • Chuck Neal
  • Paul Quintus
  • Bob Sanford
  • Leon Schaddelee
  • Robert Vande Vusse
  • Cliff Vander Yacht
  • Dave Zelisse

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.

PMHS, P.O. Box 422, Grand Haven, MI 49417


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 © 2013, John F. ("Fritz") Milhaupt, on behalf of the Pere Marquette Historical Society, Inc., All Rights Reserved.