Opening Southwestern Michigan to the WorldThe St. Joseph River and the Sauk Trail (now U.S. 12) were major transportation routes for Indians, French voyagers, missionaries, military and early settlers through Niles. Nile's first railroad, the Michigan Central Railroad arrived October 1, 1848. Community leaders recognized immediately that Niles was fortunate to have one railroad but to prosper it was imperative to have a second competing railroad to lower passenger and freight fares. Niles representatives promoted the project for the second railroad. In 1871 after pledging bonds in the amount of $100,000 Niles had a second railroad, the Airline Railroad which ran from South Bend, through Niles's depot at Barron lake and on to Jackson, Michigan. Competition was not to be! The Airline was immediately leased to the Michigan Central Railroad. Individuals continued to promote a competing railroad. MANY HAD WORKED SO HARD FOR THIS JOYOUS DAY - FINALLY JUNE 29, 1882 THE ARRIVAL OF WHAT BECAME KNOWN AS THE BIG 4 RAILROAD ENDED A THIRTY-FOUR YEAR EFFORT FOR A COMPETING RAILROAD; THE FINAL PIECE OF THE "RAIL HUB". The flag draped train, whose route was northwest from Elkhart, Indiana into Niles, was greeted with a tremendous celebration. Citizens of Elkhart were aboard, coming to Niles where the train "parked" at the foot of Main Street Bridge. Festivities included a band, cannon firing, speeches, and dinner for several hundred.
|Placed By||Fort St. Joseph Historical Association|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 6:04pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||16T E 561523 N 4631718|
|Decimal Degrees||41.83496667, -86.25903333|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 41° 50.098', W 86° 15.542'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||41° 50' 5.88" N, 86° 15' 32.52" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 798 Front St, Niles MI 49120, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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