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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Roseville in Macomb County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Rapid Railway Company

and Its Interurban Stops in Roseville

 
 
Rapid Railway Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 21, 2018
1. Rapid Railway Company Marker
Inscription.  
Interurban service became the most successful mode of transportation
through Roseville in the early 1900s. Starting in 1895, the Rapid Railway Company ran electric interurbans along Gratiot Avenue between Detroit and Mt. Clemens, a relatively speedy and reliable alternative to wagons and carriages along Gratiot's plank road. A car barn and powerhouse was built in Roseville for interurban repairs and to generate power for the interurban system. In 1903 the Rapid Railway line survived a fire that burned much of its car barn and several interurbans, but it could not compete with the popularity of automobiles and ended service in 1930.

You Auto Know
The Rapid interurban line eventually extended from Detroit through Mt. Clemens and all the way to Port Huron.
 
Erected 2014 by MotorCities National Heritage Area, National Park Service.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the MotorCities National Heritage Area series list.
 
Location.
Upper Left Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 21, 2018
2. Upper Left Image
A Rapid Railway car travels along Gratiot Avenue through the countryside around Roseville, about 1910. Photo courtesy of the Roseville Public Library.
42° 30.967′ N, 82° 55.613′ W. Marker is in Roseville, Michigan, in Macomb County. Marker is on VFW Memorial Drive near PFC Wetzel Drive, on the right when traveling east. Marker is in front of Roseville City Hall. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 29777 Gratiot Avenue, Roseville MI 48066, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Plank Road History (here, next to this marker); Packard Field in Roseville (here, next to this marker); Watching the Big Show (a few steps from this marker); Frenchy's Auto Parts (a few steps from this marker); Erin United Presbyterian Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Sacred Heart Church (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Baumgartner House 1875 (approx. 1.1 miles away); Baumgartner House (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Roseville.
 
Lower Left Images image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 21, 2018
3. Lower Left Images
Left: The Rapid Railway, running through Roseville, is highlighted in red on this map showing the network of interurban lines in the Detroit area. In 1901, the Rapid Railway was absorbed with other regional interurban lines to form the Detroit United Railway, but retained its own identity. Map courtesy of Ken Schramm. Right: A passenger ticket shows the sequence of interurban stops along the Rapid Railway line, about 1910. Ticket courtesy of Ken Schramm.
Lower Middle Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 21, 2018
4. Lower Middle Image
The Rapid Railway Company car barn and powerhouse, about 1900. It was located in Roseville on the east side of Gratiot, just north of Eleven Mile. Photo courtesy of Ken Schramm.
Upper Right Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 21, 2018
5. Upper Right Image
An electric interurban car with trailer, shown here along the Rapid Railway line through Roseville, about 1900. This interurban was powered by electricity through a "trolley" pole from wires overhead along the route. Photo courtesy of Ken Schramm.
Middle Right Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 21, 2018
6. Middle Right Image
A Model T is given a tow through the muddy mess of Gratiot Avenue by an interurban near the Roseville car barn, about 1915. Photo courtesy of Ken Schramm.
Lower Right Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 21, 2018
7. Lower Right Image
Judge Cornelius J. Reilly formed the Rapid Railway Company in 1894 to run electric interurbans along Gratiot Avenue and headed the company until it was absorbed by the Detroit United Railway in 1901. Image courtesy of Ken Schramm.
Rapid Railway Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 21, 2018
8. Rapid Railway Company Marker
This marker is the second one from the left.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 24, 2018. It was originally submitted on July 22, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 205 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on July 22, 2018, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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Jan. 15, 2021