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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Blissfield in Lenawee County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad

 
 
Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, February 20, 2010
1. Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad Marker
View looking north of the front side of the historical marker.
Inscription.  [Front Side of Marker]

The first railroad operated west of the Alleghenies, the Erie and Kalamazoo, was chartered on April 22, 1833 to connect Port Lawrence (later named Toledo) with the Kalamazoo River via Adrian. A horse-drawn car made the first trip from Toledo to Adrian on November 2, 1836, running on strap iron strips spiked to oak rails. From 1852 to 1857 the line, then part of the Michigan Southern Railroad, was the only unbroken link from the East Coast to Chicago. As a part of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern, the New York Central, the Penn Central and the Conrail systems, "The Old Road" as it continued to be known, carried passengers until November 1956. The trackage in the Blissfield area later became the property of the State of Michigan.

[Reverse Side of Marker]

In addition to being the first railroad built west of the Allegheny Mountains, the Erie and Kalamazoo was in 1837 the first line west of the Alleghenies to operate a steam locomotive. Built in Philadelphia, the locomotive, the "Adrian No. 1," was brought west via the Erie Canal and Lake Erie. When the locomotive ran out
Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, February 20, 2010
2. Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad Marker
View looking south of the reverse side of the historical marker.
Click or scan to see
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of wood or water, passengers had to scour the countryside for them. A simple round trip between Toledo and Adrian took one day. The Erie and Kalamazoo was also the first western line to operate as an interstate railroad, to carry U.S. Mail and to build a branch line. As a separate corporations, the Erie and Kalamazoo existed as a leased railroad, paying regular dividends to its shareholders, for more than 125 years.
 
Erected 1986 by Michigan Historical Center, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number 1146A.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad, and the Michigan Historical Commission series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1878.
 
Location. 41° 50.177′ N, 83° 52.305′ W. Marker is in Blissfield, Michigan, in Lenawee County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and Worth Street on Main Street. This historical marker is located just south of where Main Street crosses the railroad tracks, on the east side of the road, adjacent to the back yard property of Blissfield's Hathaway House. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Blissfield MI 49228, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Erie and Kalamazoo Rail Road / Rail Road (within shouting
Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, February 20, 2010
3. Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad Marker
View looking north of the historical marker in the foreground and the railroad crossing in the background.
distance of this marker); Carpenter House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hiram D. Ellis House (about 500 feet away); Veterans Memorial (about 600 feet away); F-105G Thunderchief (about 600 feet away); First Presbyterian Church (approx. ¼ mile away); G.A.R. Civil War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Blissfield Hotel (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Blissfield.
 
Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, February 20, 2010
4. Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad Marker
View looking south of historical marker in the foreground and the Hathaway House back property in the background.
Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, February 20, 2010
5. Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad Marker
View looking west of the historical marker to the extreme left of the picture, with the railroad tracks going off to the distant west in the right side of the picture.
Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, February 20, 2010
6. Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad Marker
View looking northwest of the historical marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on February 21, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 919 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 21, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.

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Apr. 20, 2021