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Photo provided by the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm

Looking Back: Michigan Central Railroad

Rochester Post | Published February 19, 2019


ROCHESTER — People lounge in the grass next to a derailed train on the Michigan Central Railroad. Based on the clothes worn by the women, officials from the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm say this photo was likely taken during the 1910s.

The writing at the top of the photograph reveals that the train derailed near the Hettie Fox home, which was located near Dutton Road.

The Michigan Central Railroad came to Rochester in 1872 originally as the Detroit and Bay City Railway. The railroad was highly anticipated by local residents, who realized the positive changes it could make to Rochester’s economy by allowing cash crop farming and bringing “fancy goods,” such as oysters, to downtown stores.

Another line, the Grand Trunk Railway, also came into Rochester in 1872. By 1907, there were eight passenger trains and 25 freight trains scheduled to stop in Rochester.