Pigeon, MI
Southeast corner of the depot
Pigeon, Michigan depot; August 2002

The depot in Pigeon is an L-shaped building, built at the crossing of the Pere Marquette, running east-west, and the Pontiac, Oxford and Northern, which ran north to Caseville, on Saginaw Bay.

Pere Marquette RR map The Saginaw, Tuscola and Huron Railroad was formed in 1881, to build a 3' gauge railroad from East Saginaw to Bad Axe. In April 1882, the line opened from Saginaw to Sebewaing.  It reached Bad Axe in July 1886.
In May of 1891, the railroad was converted to standard gauge. The Pere Marquette railroad took control of the ST&H in 1900, first by a lease, then bought it in 1903. In 1947 the Pere Marquette was taken over by the C&O, which in turn became part of CSX.

The Huron & Eastern Railway was formed in 1985, to operate railroads in Michigan's thumb area. In 1986 they bought the tracks from Kinde to Croswell, and in 1988 bought the tracks from Saginaw, through Pigeon, to Bad Axe. These tracks are still in use. The Huron & Eastern Railway has since become part of the RailAmerica shortline empire.

The other railroad through Pigeon was built by the Pontiac, Oxford and Port Austin Railroad. Their line was completed in October 1883 between Pontiac and Caseville, to serve the thumb area's lumber industry. In 1889 the railroad was reorganized as the Pontiac, Oxford and Northern. In 1910 the Grand Trunk took control. Regular passenger service lasted only until 1932. A mixed train ran until 1955. The line was abandoned in the 1970's. To see another depot used by this railroad, and a map of the line, see the page on Kingston.

Pere Marquette side of the depot
South Side, August 2002.

Museum Enterance
Street Sides, August 2002.

The Pigeon depot was built in 1908, replacing a depot on the PO&N which was one mile north of the crossing, and likely replacing an earlier depot on the PM as well. The building must have put up by the Pere Marquette as the style is very similar to some other PM depots of the era. Vassar is one such example.

The depot serves as the museum of the Pigeon Historical Society. It is open Monday through Saturday during June, July, and August. The phone number is (989) 453-3242.

Pigeon Depot, North End
North End

Southbound engine on the Pontiac, Oxford and Northern (Grand Trunk). Note handcar to the left.
Postcard View of Pigeon Depot

Michigan Passenger Stations Home Page

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

 

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