Site Contents:



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.


Muskegon Railroad Historical Society to Host Car Ferry Presentation - On Tuesday, July 1, the Muskegon Railroad Historical Society will host a presentation by Tom Buettner titled "Rails Across Lake Michigan." This program, featuring the car ferry operations of the Ann Arbor, Chesapeake & Ohio, Grand Trunk Western and the Pere Marquette, will be presented as a slide show after the general meeting that evening, which begins at 7:00 pm. The public is welcome, and no admission is charged.

The meeting and program will be held in the meeting space of the Muskegon Railroad Historical Society, located upstairs from the Muskegon Heritage Museum at 561 West Western Avenue, in Muskegon. This is located just down the street from the former Union Depot in downtown Muskegon. More information on the Muskegon Railroad Historical Society can be found at


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. The paperwork issues have since been resolved.

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 Leviathan 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.


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.


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.

Do you have questions or comments regarding this Web site? E-mail
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.