Wyandotte, MI, Depot , 2003; Alan Loftis
|Wyandotte is about 15 miles south of Detroit, on the
west shore of the Detroit River, on a line between Detroit and Toledo. In
the "Golden Age" of railroads, quite a few railroads had lines through Wyandotte.
The first of these lines was built by the Detroit, Monroe and Toledo RR in
1856. It may have been just a construction company. Upon completion, it was
leased to the Michigan Southern.
In 1872 the Toledo, Canada Southern & Detroit built
through Wyandotte, as part of its line connecting Detroit and Toledo. The
Canada Southern Railway had completed a line across southern Ontario. They
expanded into Michigan hoping to build their own line to Chicago. This never
happened, as all the new construction, and an economic downturn forced the
Canada Southern to suspend bond payments in 1873. Cornelius Vanderbilt, owner
of the New York Central, stepped in, paid off the creditors and gained control
of the Canada Southern and its subsidiary, the Toledo Canada Southern &
Detroit. Technically, it remained a separate railroad, but it was controlled
and operated by the Michigan Central, which was also controlled by
the Vanderbilts .
In 1876 the Michigan Southern had also come under NYC control.
So the two lines running side by side, through Wyandotte, were both Vanderbilt
companies. Both were eventually merged into the New York Central.
Portico and Michigan Central (east) Side, Photo by Louie
|The depot shown here was built in 1891 as a Union Station,
for use by both the Michigan Central (on the east side) and the Lake Shore
& Michigan Southern (on the west side). It was just a passenger
station. Separate buildings were used for freight. However, the building
did have a room at the north end for baggage and express shipments. It must
have been quite a busy place. The 1896 LS&MS timetable showed ten passenger
trains a day through Wyandotte. Eight stopped there and two ran
There were a number of earlier depots. For ten years, from
1855-1865, a box car was used as the Michigan Southern depot . It was eventually
replaced by a wooden building. But in an age when a cities status
was judged by the size and quality of its depot, this "shoddy" building incensed
the people of Wyandotte who argued long and loudly with the railroad for
better accommodations. The Michigan Central also had a depot, probably not
much better liked.
The new union depot opened under the management of C. L.
Carl, former ticket agent for the Lake Shore Road. Station agent F. E. Welch
of the Michigan Central and station agent R. V. Goodremont of the Lake Shore
remained in the old wooden depot building to transact the freight business.
The Michigan Central Freight depot was raised several feet and continued
to be used for freight. The old Lake Shore depot was pulled across the tracks
to the west side and converted into a freight house.
West Side, Used by LS&MS Railroad, Photo by Louie
East Side/Baggage Room End, Photo by Alan Loftis
|Tracks through Wyandotte remain very much in use. The
present owner, Norfolk Southern, runs about 20 trains a day through Wyandotte.
The route is operated as a double track main line with southbound trains
using the former Michigan Southern tracks, and northbound trains running
on the former MC tracks. The depot is presently used by the Wyandotte American
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