This article, which is no longer published, originally appeared on the site michiganrailroads.com. Some vocabulary has been simplified for young readers and images have been added to increase visual appeal.
Saginaw was founded in 1816 as a trading post on the Saginaw River. The original town was planned in 1823 on the west side of the river. East Saginaw was founded in 1850, incorporated as a village in 1855 and a city in 1857. The entire Saginaw area was well known as the logging capital of east Michigan in the second half of the 1800s. East Saginaw was combined with South Saginaw in 1873 and with Saginaw City on the west side of river in 1889. The view above was from 1885.
The Pere Marquette line west towards Alma was built in 1872, and a connection was built from the Detroit and Bay City Railroad from Denmark Jct. about 1873. Narrow gauge lines to Vassar and Reese were built in 1874 and 1882 respectively and converted to standard gauge later. In 1890, the predecessor to the Grand Trunk Western arrived from Durand and was built through east and west Saginaw to Bay City.
Berry, Dale. “Station: Saginaw Michigan.” Michiganrailroad.com, www.michiganrailroads.com/RRHX/Stations/CountyStations/SaginawStations/SaginawArea/SaginawMI.htm.
“Cities of East Saginaw and Saginaw, Michigan, 1885.” Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 July 2008, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cities_of_East_Saginaw_and_Saginaw,_Michigan,_1885_(2675801518).jpg.
G.W. & C. Colton & Co. “Map Showing the Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw Railroad and Its Connections.” Wikimedia Commons, Library of Congress, 30 May 2018, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Map_showing_the_Jackson,_Lansing_%26_Saginaw_Railroad_and_its_connections._LOC_98688688.tif.
I often struggle to find websites with thorough explanations in simple language to help kids understand historical events or scientific concepts, so I decided to create some of my own!