Historic Railroad Map of the Midwest - 1871

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Map showing the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad, and its connections.

During the 1860's and 1870's many new branches of Michigan’s railroad system were added to transport the state’s many manufactures and resources.

The Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad was conceived when a short line built in 1867 between Grand Rapids and Cedar Springs began showing profitability soon after opening. Two years later, as the need to move Michigan timber and other resources south was being realized, the small line was handed over to the Continental Improvement Company to build the connecting north-south line from Cedar Springs to Morley.

Gradual expansion of this railroad, during the era of this map’s publishing, enabled many settlements to grow throughout the region.

The movement of state manufactures and valuable resources southward was of great importance during this time. The Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad was considered a successful standard-gauge railroad in its day.

As the transportation of Michigan timber waned in the 1880's, the railroad concentrated on tourism; advertising the benefits of the popular springs and resorts in the region.

A ninety-two mile stretch of the line between northern Grand Rapids and Cadillac is now used as a public trail.

This map was published in 1871 by G.W. & C. B. Colton & Co.

Displayed are portions of Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Drainage, cities and towns are indicated. Visible is the original railroad land grant and the railroad network with emphasis on the main line.

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