Michigan East & West Depot; Manistee, MI
Michigan East & West Depot, August 2000

Manistee is on the Lake Michigan coast, about 50 miles west of Cadillac. In 1889, the Manistee and Grand Rapids Railroad was incorporated, with the intention of building a line from Manistee to Grand Rapids. The railroad never made it to Grand Rapids, but by 1906 had completed a line from Manistee to Marion, which is southeast of Cadillac. In addition there were at least five branches, including one to Luther, also served by a branch of the GR&I.

The Manistee and Grand Rapids was sold at a foreclosure sale in September 1913. The M&GR was primarily a logging railroad. It is possible that by 1916, all the timber along its route had been cut.

The new owners, the Michigan East & West Railway, built a new depot in Manistee. It is quite an impressive structure for a back -woods logging line. The new company likely planned on using the route for general freight and passenger traffic from Manistee to the GR&I at Tustin and the Ann Arbor at Marion. This never worked out, as the line was abandoned in 1916.

The depot, however, still exists. It has been used as a funeral home since the 1930's. It appears to be well maintained, but an addition on the track side of the building hides the bay window.

Street Side, Michigan East & West Depot
Street side

Michigan East & West Depot
Street side/East end

Postcard View of Michigan East & West Depot
Postcard View of  M E & W  Depot showing trackside Bay Window

Photos by Jack Hengartner

January 2005
Louis Van Winkle

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