|In 1857 the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad had won
a land grant to build a railroad from Grand Rapids to Traverse City. By 1869
they had made very little progress and the state ordered the railroad to
surrender its charter. Desperate to save their railroad, the Indiana interests
behind the GR&I, turned over construction of the line to the Continental
Improvements Co., which was controlled by the Pennsylvania Railroad. The
Pennsylvania RR had just acquired the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chicago,
and saw the GR&I as a means to extend into Michigan.
The Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad was built from Fort
Wayne,IN through Kalamazoo, to Grand Rapids, MI in 1870. Indiana finally
had its rail line into Michigan. It was however, controled by the Pennsylvania,
not local interests. The Pennsylvania took the land grants and had a nice
feeder to their main line.
The large Italian Revival station in Kalamazoo was built
in 1874 replacing an earlier building that burned down. Passenger service
ended in 1954. In 1961 the railroad sold the building. In 1963 the building
was adapted for use as the Whistle Stop resturant. Work included enclosing
the waiting platform for use as the kitchen. For the next 25 years it was
Kalamazoo's finest resturant.
The building is presently owned by a local developer who
plans on restoring the building for use as offices, apartments, and a banquet