FOWLER, MI
Fowler Depot, Converted to a House
Fowler, MI Depot, September 1999

Fowler is on the former Grand Trunk line between Grand Rapids and Durand. The line was built by the Detroit, Grand Haven and Milwaukee RR in 1857 and operated for many years by the Grand Trunk. In 1987 the line was sold to the Central Michigan RR. They operated the line for a few years, then sold parts of the route to other shortlines. Tracks through Fowler were removed around 1996.

An older depot in Fowler burned in February 1906. The fire was discovered by the superintendent of the electric light works at about 10 o'clock at night. He managed to save "the books", but everything else was destroyed by the fire. Damage was so extensive that a box car had to be used as a temporary depot .

The St. Johns News of November 22, 1906 has a photo of the new depot and reports that "the station is one of the most tasteful and convenient on the road". The depot was about 20' x 60' and had a freight/baggage room, general waiting room, agents office, and smoking room, all with electric lights.

The rounded end of the depot with its "witche's hat" roof was a fairly common feature of Grand Trunk stations, not only in Michigan, but also in New England. Michigan has at least three such stations still standing; Saranac, Fowler, and South Lyon. Another in Corunna was torn down in the late 1960's.

Around 1974 Fowler's depot was moved out of town, several miles to the northwest and turned into a home. There were a few changes and alterations, but the home still has the rounded end with the witche's hat roof and the distinctive dormer making it easily recognizable as a Grand Trunk depot.

Depot's rounded end, now faces north

Fowler Depot, Trackside/East End
Postcard view of depot in original location.

Historical information provided by Merritt Scharnweber

October 1999, Updated Sept. 2003
Louis Van Winkle
E-mail questions or comments to louisvw@mc.net

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