Blissfield in Lenawee County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad
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 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
Erected 1986 by Michigan Historical Center, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number 1146A.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad, and the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
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. Touch for map. 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. Marker is in this post office area: Blissfield MI 49228, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Erie and Kalamazoo Rail Road / Rail Road (within shouting distance of this marker); Erie and Kalamazoo Railroad (approx. 8.1 miles away); The Old Territorial Road (approx. 8½ miles away in Ohio); Roger T. Durbin Lenawee County Fairgrounds (approx. 8.7 miles away); St. Joseph's Catholic Church (approx. 9.1 miles away); St. John's Lutheran Church (approx. 9.2 miles away); Oakwood Cemetery (approx. 9.3 miles away).
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 21, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 814 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 21, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.