Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, and Muskegon Railway (Images of Rail)
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The Grand Rapids, Grand Haven & Muskegon (GRGH&M) Railway was part of a network of electric railroads that spread across southern Michigan in the early part of the 20th century. For nearly 30 years, the railway connected Grand Rapids with Muskegon and Grand Haven on the Lake Michigan shore. The fast and frequent service it offered transformed life in Coopersville, Nunica, Berlin (now Marne), Fruitport, and other smaller communities along the way. In addition, the railway and the boats of the Goodrich and Crosby steamship lines provided an overnight connection with Chicago and Milwaukee. Moving both people and freight, this interurban had an important impact on both local and regional economies. Images of Rail: The Grand Rapids, Grand Haven & Muskegon Railway traces the history of the electric interurban in West Michigan, telling the story of the growth, operation, and eventual demise of an important electric railway in the region.
washing machine manufacturer has shipped a load of machines to Nunica ahead of the drummer, who will be expected to sell them once he arrives. This view shows the dock siding at the Grand Haven waterfront. The siding continued straight to the foot of Washington Street, where the main line turned into Water Street. Both passenger and freight cars used the siding to pull directly alongside the Goodrich freight house, just out of view. The Italianate Grand Trunk depot is on the left side of the
as extra trains, which meant they had to keep clear of the passenger trains on the line, making sure they pulled into a passing siding well before a passenger car was due to pass by. 75 By 1917, the company was purchasing cars made of steel rather than wood. Car No. 116 was manufactured by the G.C. Kuhlman Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Shown here at the factory, the car is sitting on a set of factory trucks used to move it during construction. The operating trucks, as well as the motors and
Grand Rapids after work. A Nunica resident could commute to Muskegon to work in a factory. A company in Grand Rapids could charter a car for an employee outing at a Lake Michigan beach. Ridership increased throughout the early years, and the company made a small profit. Arrangements were made with the Goodrich and Crosby steamship lines for through passage on the interurban cars and the lake boats. Passengers could buy a ticket and check their luggage in Grand Rapids, and then pick their bags
94 Walter Treloar, just visible above at the controls of Car No. 20 entering Coopersville, was a longtime GRGH&M motorman. His hat badge, pictured below, was No. 139. 95 This is Edward Gustafson’s union identification card. Although the company and employees had a generally good relationship, it became strained in the early 1920s. Inflation during World War I led to increased prices and higher wages for interurban companies, which put a serious strain on profits. In 1921 and 1922, the
service that ran between Coopersville and Grand Rapids each morning and evening. 39 Malone’s Crossing was at the intersection of the interurban right of way and Eighty-eighth Avenue. Cars stopped here if someone was waiting or wanted to get off. The man in the photograph is sitting on a platform built to handle baggage and freight. Across the street from the stop was St. Michael’s Catholic Church. Each week, a priest took a car from Grand Haven to the church to say the mass. 40 Car No. 8