Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Railroad Ferry Slips at St. Ignace, MI

It appears that St. Ignace had a couple of railroad ferry aprons.

Doug Taylor shared the above link
This railroad car ferry served 3 different railroads to get their cars across the Straits of Mackinac from 1911 to 1984. I now own one of the 3 engines that was on it. This website is all about her and the fight I put up with the city council of St. Ignace, Mi. to save her from being scraped.

David Mc Neil posted three photos with the comment: "The Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company's City of Mackinac at dock, St. Ignace, Michigan. 1906"

Mike Harlan shared.
Dennis DeBruler That third photo also has a lot of "misc history."
I count at least three horse&buggies because cars haven't happened yet.
Shutter speeds are slower because the three ladies on the right, who seem to be in a hurry, are a blur.
The handbrake wheel on the boxcar is at the top.

The first photo shows that cargo was still shipped in barrels.[Note that the Western States, which appears to be a passenger and cargo ferry, is coming into a different dock.]



According to the 2005 SPV Map, the Soo Line entered town on the north side and that route is now the St Ignace to Trout Lake Trail and the Ojibway Trail. Unfortunately, the oldest Historic Aerial is 1994. Since the tracks were long gone by then, I could not trace the right-of-way through town to find the ferry slip.

Fortunately, this Bill Johnson Flickr 1979 Photo provides the address of the depot and dock as 4428 St Ignace, MI. That photo also shows that the Chief Wawatam ferry was a steamer because a lot of black smoke is pouring out of its two smokestacks.

A Bill Johnson Flickr 1979 Photo shows a cut of cars being shoved onto Chief Wawatam by a Soo engine. In the background is an older Laker (because the bridge is on the bow) that clearly has a self-unloading conveyor boom.

Chief Wawatam ran between St. Ignace and Mackinaw City. There is more information on the Chief in "Rail Ferry Operations in Mackinaw City."

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