Track Side, Gladwin Depot, Alan Loftis Photo
Michigan Central Depot, Gladwin, MI; January 2004

Gladwin is about 40 miles NW of Bay City. The depot there was built by the Michigan Central in 1912, at the west end of the Michigan Central's Saginaw Bay and Northwestern Division.

This route was started as the Glencoe, Pinconning and Lake Shore Railroad. In 1879 it was renamed The Pinconning Railroad Company, and the next year renamed again as the Saginaw Bay and Northwestern. In Feb. 1883 the line was leased to the Michigan Central. The tracks were extended, finally reaching Gladwin in 1887.

Map from 1902 Michigan Central Timetable

1902 MC Timetable for Saginaw Bay & Northwestern Div.

Gladwin's present depot was built in 1912 to replace an earlier station that was destroyed by fire. It is quite a nice depot considering Gladwin was at the far end of a branch line with minimal passenger service. The design is very similar to one used a few years earlier by the Michigan Central for its depot in Wolverine, MI.

The arrangement of doors and windows suggests there were separate waiting rooms for men and women, an agent's office and a small freight room.

Gladwin Bay window, Alan Loftis, Jan. 2004
Track Side Bay Window

Street Side, Gladwin Depot, Alan Loftis Photo
Street Side

By 1938 the tracks to Gladwin were freight only. A few years earlier, in 1930 the Michigan Central was leased to the New York Central. On January 2, 1962 NYC gave notice of intent to abandon the Gladwin branch. Tracks were taken out in 1964.

The depot was not torn down. In July 1977 the depot was moved from its original location to the grounds of Gladwin County Historical Society, where it now serves as a museum.

Postcard view of Gladwin depot
Postcard View of Gladwin Depot in 1915
Restored by Bob Frei.

November 2004
Louis Van Winkle

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