|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
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.