Railroad Side of St. Joseph, MI – and Benton Harbor Too


Recently there were a couple of great tourist blogs published about St. Joseph, Michigan. Not a word about railroads in St. Joseph (or in Benton Harbor just across the bridge). So here is our WebSite about railroad history inn both towns:
https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/benton-harbor-once-a-rail-center/

In 1998, CSX spent $2.5 million to replace the electrical and mechanical systems in its troubled St. Joseph bridge at St. Joseph. The bridge was built in 1905. It crossed over to Benton Harbor.

In 1901, the Michigan Central built a short branch line called the Benton Harbor extension from St.Joseph into Benton Harbor. This extension crossed the river on its own bridge. Abandoned 1958.

The House of David was a religious community near Benton Harbor in the early 20th century. The community had a number of attractive recreational activities including a tourist railroad and baseball team. The miniature railroad even had a station.

Leaving Benton Harbor you had from 25-40 cars of washing machines 6 nights a week (Whirlpool). After, 1954-55 steel and supplies into Clark Equipment and finished tractors out. At the end of the month they really shipped. Cold Storage shipped well until cold weather.

The Big Four (NY Central) had trackage rights on C&O over the bridge into St. Joe where they had some trackage too. They previously had a swing bridge themselves in St. Joe. The old crossbuck railroad crossing sign in St. Joe on the riverfront, under the CSX bridge is also NYC origin. Nothing else remains of the New York Central except an old siding at a former box factory (now an art center called “The Box Factory”). I did see where the old NYC bridge was. The cold storage in Benton Harbor was razed in the the late ’90s and the thick walls took a lot of dynamite!

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