Thursday, March 24, 2016

Rail Ferry Operations in Mackinaw City

This ferry operation was the northern terminus for Pennsy's Grand Rapids & Indiana branch.
Dave Gottschalk posted
Detroit and mackinac 974 works the Chief in Mackinaw City. No date and I don't know who the photographer was for credit. I'm assuming late 70's early 80's.
Steve Hunter I had the pleasure of watching the Chief Wawatam being unloaded/ loaded in 1981... it was a huge pleasure as it brought me back to childhood memories of another steam carferry very close to my heart, CNR's SS Prince Edward Island. Thanks for posting!

The dock still exists.
Dave Gottschalk posted
I don't remember where I bought this slide at or who the photographer was to give credit too but here are a couple Detroit & Mackinac crews working Mackinaw City. I think this would be 1981 or 82.
Brandon Beaudoin Looks like an excursion train!
Dave Gottschalk If I remember correctly. was a special train for a candidate for governor.
Richard Fiedler I vacationed here around 1980 and was not aware of the ferry. I woke up I the morning went out of my motel room and saw bellows of black coal smoke. I'll never forget the Chief Wawatam and watching it get switched.
Dave Gottschalk Mackinac to st. Ignace. 1911 till 1984 I believe
Dan Coburn The Chief and the St,Marie used to be contracted out by the Coast Guard for icebreaking. These ships were famous for their icebreaking abilities. They broke ice as far north as above the Soo Locks and South as Lake Erie.
Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad was one of the railroads that carried freight up Michigan to this ferry.

Greg Bunce posted
The railroad carferry Chief Wawatam ran between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace across the Straits of Mackinac between the two peninsulas of Michigan. It was the last hand fired boat on the Great Lakes. Coming into Mackinaw City August 1978.
Greg Bunce The engines are in the Maritime Museum in Manitowoc and the hull was cut down into a barge that worked out of The Soo. I was fortunate enough to be allowed down below when I worked for the Michigan Northern and it was like stepping in a time warp. Brass on everything in the engine room.
SS Chief Wawatam, Public Domain
Colorized postcard photo of the SS Chief Wawatam train ferry at Mackinaw, Michigan.
Mark Hershoren shared
Loading the Chief Wawatam with passenger cars bound for St. Ignace at Mackinaw City, Michigan.

Greg Bunce posted
The Chief Wawatam's arrival in Mackinaw City after it's maiden voyage October 8, 1911. Photo from the Marine Historical Society of Detroit.
Greg Bunce shared
Michigan National Guard troops on their way to the Copper Country during the Miners Strike of 1913.
West Michigan Post Card Club photo
Michigan (National Guard) Troops Crossing Straits of Mackinac for the Copperfields (during the great Keewenaw Copper Mine Strikes of 1913-14) - unused real photo postcard.
Don Harrison commented on the above photo
Here is a handsome shot of the Photographer Clyde Johnsons color printed version of this great image!!! :-) UNM UpNorth Memories Don Harrison Description: SHIP Mackinaw St Ignace MI c.1912 SS CHIEF WAWATAM Mackinac Transportation Co Steamer Railroad Car Ferry used to cross the Mackinac Straits before Mackinaw Bridge built Photographer Clyde Johnson of Mackinaw City MI.
Jackie Rowe I made trips to UP on that ship.

Mark Hershoren shared
"Loading trains on railway ferry Chief Wawatam at
Mackinaw City, MI".
(Photo by Clyde Johnson, Martin Bliss collection)
Mark Hershoren shared
Chief Wawatam, Mackinaw City, Lining the apron,
February 1969.
(Photo by Martin Bliss)
Mark Hershoren shared
Loading the Chief Wawatam at Mackinaw City as seen from the pilot house. Check those cars to the right.
(Photo by Martin Bliss)
Blane Jacobs provides a link that I think explains the two passenger cars on the side.

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