Railroads

Railroads 2010-05-10T14:36:20+00:00

Railroads provided for long distance travel from the 1870’s to the 1950’s. There were three rail lines across Lower Michigan in 1860 but none came through Fabius Township until the Michigan Central built its “Air Line” on a shorter, more direct route between Niles and Jackson in 1871. J.W. French, a Three Rivers businessman who had the contract for laying ties, demanded a stop and depot at Fabius, now near the intersection of Gleason Road, A.L. Jones Road, and M-60. Mr. French used the railroad to commute to his summer home on the east side of Corey Lake. (J.W. French should not be confused with Alfred W. French, or his son Edward A. French, who also had a summer home on Corey Lake from about 1922. Interestingly, A.W. French was a manufacturer of road building equipment and was involved in the construction of highway M-60.) In 1876, four trains a day ran through Fabius Township. A stop was also established at Corey, just across the western county line, where summer visitors from Chicago would be met by horse and wagon and transported to the Grand View Hotel on Corey Lake, which opened in 1893. Service on this line was discontinued in the 1930’s. During World War II, the rails were torn up and salvaged. The township plat map of 1893, reproduced on page 15, shows the state of the township’s road system after the railroad had been put through.