Ann Arbor Railroad Car Ferries (1892-1982) - Part 1
   The following historical outline is mainly from Chapter 3 of an online PDF document about the Great Lakes, entitled The Great Lakes Car Ferries (thus, the GLCF acronym), which is from a book, 240 pages, with the same title (2003) by George W. Hilton (January 18, 1925 – August 4, 2014), Montevallo Historical Press, Inc. Other sections are documented from whence they came.
  I (DNJ) edited the text and filled in the holes where needed (from personal experience, and from personal stories from my father and oldest brother who worked on the Car Ferries until the mid to late '60s). Ann Arbor Rail Car Ferry service officially ended in April 1982.
   Below is a map illustrating both the existing and abandoned Great Lakes ferry routes during the high point of the rail car ferries, as well as the ports. The Ann Arbor routes out of Elberta, MI (or Frankfort on the map because it was the larger town) are labeled "AA."
From <http://www.mhpress.com/GLCF.pdf>
From <http://www.mhpress.com/GLCF.pdf>
   Originally, the Ann Arbor Car Ferries, operating out of Elberta, MI, were owned and operated by the Toledo, Ann Arbor, and Northern Michigan Railroad Co. However, the Wabash Railroad gained controlling interest of Ann Arbor stock in 1925, and by the end of 1962 owned all but a few shares [From <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wabash_Railroad>]. However, the name didn't change. Then in 1963, DT&I (Detroit, Toledo and Ironton) Railroad became the owner, but were never quite able to turn things around to make the profit they were looking for. Note that the "d" at the end of the "and" at the beginning of the article below is difficult to read.
The Owasso Argus Press September 4, 1963
   [Below is an illustrative map showing the relationship among Lake Betsie (or for those like me, "Betsie Bay," or even Bestie Lake, or Frankfort Harbor); Frankfort; and Elberta. - DNJ.] Take note that whenever a Car Ferry had a layover, or a mechanical problem awaiting repairs, it was tied to the pier between the east and west slips.
   By the 1950s, 40% of Ann Arbor's ferry traffic went through Kewaunee, WI (originally, the only other port besides Frankfort until Manitowoc, WI, Menominee, MI, and others came on line). The Ann Arbor fleet typically had two sailings to Kewaunee Monday through Saturday and one on Sunday. A cross-lake trip took about 4¾ hours, or longer depending on weather; other trips were typically about six or seven hours. Altogether, during the zenith of its operation, the Ann Arbor Railroad served four routes with five ferries (#3, #5, #6, #7, and the Wabash), which sometimes led to irregular service.
From <http://www.greenbayroute.com/carferries.htm>
   What about #1, #2, and #4? Good question; let's take a look.
Ann Arbor Railroad Car Ferries (1892-1982) - Part 1
16
427
1
Published:

Ann Arbor Railroad Car Ferries (1892-1982) - Part 1

My dad began working on the Ann Arbor Car Ferries circa 1947-1948 and retired about 20 years later. My oldest brother began in the mid-'50s and h Read More
16
427
1
Published:

Tools

Creative Fields