Skip to main content

Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad (LSI) collection

 Collection
Identifier: MSS-379

Scope and Contents

This collection, MSS-379, Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad (LSI) collection, documents administrative and rail activity of the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad from 1896 to 1998. The files are incomplete and the dates covered are not all inclusive. The materials are copies and the location of the original documents are unknown.

The rail activity of the LSI is documented by Railroad Modification and Track Construction plans, Right of Way and Track Maps, and a map of the Marquette shoreline serviced by the Munising, Marquette and Southeastern Railway (MM&SE). These maps and plans depict LSI service and operations in and around Marquette County, Michigan.

Dates

  • 1855 - 2006

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions. Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from MSS-379, Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad (LSI) collection, must be obtained from the University Archivist. The University Archivist may be reached by phone at 906-227-1225, or e-mail, archives@nmu.edu. The University Archivist may also be reached in Room 126 of the Learning Resource Center, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI.

Biographical / Historical

Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad (LS&I) (1896-present):

The LS&I dates back to 1892 as the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railway and a subsidiary of the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company. The original line between Presque Isle (Marquette) and Ishpeming was completed in 1896 to haul iron ore from the ranges near Ishpeming to the Lake Superior docks. Two other systems would also become part of the LS&I to expand its length in the peninsula region. In 1895 the Munising Railway Company was chartered to build a line between the Lake Superior port town of Munising to Princeton, and a branch from Stillman to Cusino. The other railroad was the Marquette and South Eastern Railway Company, which built a line in 1900 between Big Bay and Lawson. In 1911 these two systems merged to form the Munising, Marquette and South Eastern Railway Company, which in 1923 merged with the LS&I to form the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad. In 1931 LS&I ran two passenger trains a day and by 1940 the service had been reduced to one train a day, and Big Bay service was operating three times a week. This level of service lasted at least to 1950. By 1955 the only passenger service remaining was a single daily train from Munising to Princeton; Marquette and Big Bay were no longer served. All passenger service had been discontinued by 1960. The Big Bay spur was sold in the 1960s and Munising operations ended in the 1980s.

Munising-Marquette and Southeastern Railway (MM&SE) (1911-1923):

The Munising Railway Company and the Marquette and Southeastern Railway Company, were consolidated in April 1911 into the MM&SE. The merged line was incorporated with a declared capital of $1.87 million. The main lines, together, accounted for 97.0 miles of track, with an additional 43.4 miles of spur lines extending into various groves of harvestable timber. The Munising, Marquette and Southeastern Railway (MM&SE) was a short-line railroad that operated from 1911 until 1923 in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan. At its height, the railroad operated 140.4 miles of track, which was used to help the timber operations then active in northern Michigan and was controlled by Cleveland-Cliffs, an iron ore and timber extraction conglomerate. As timber dwindled and was replaced by less profitable pulpwood, Cleveland-Cliffs interests consolidated the MM&SE into another line they controlled, the Marquette-based Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad (LS&I); the 1923 merger ended the MM&SE's existence. The LS&I abandoned the MM&SE's former trackage in the second half of the 20th century. All but a short spur of the last segment, the former main line to Munising, ceased operations in 1979.

The information in this note was compiled from information presented in the following resources.

Burns, A. (2007, 2016). Lake Superior & Ishpeming. Retrieved August 18, 2016, from http://www.american-rails.com/

Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad. (2016). In Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia Foundation. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Superior_and_Ishpeming_Railroad

Meints, G. M. (1992). Michigan Railroads & Railroad Companies. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.

Extent

20 items

Language of Materials

English

Arrangement

The materials in this collection, MSS-379, Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad (LS&I) collection, are arranged in three series and one standalone item that have been arranged as follows:

1. Empire Iron Mining Partnership: Product Handling - Railroad Modifications, Palmer, Michigan, 1997-1998 (Numerical)

2. Right of Way and Track Maps, 1896-1981 (Alphabetical)

3. Munising, Marquette and Southeastern Railway (MM&SE), undated (Alphabetical)

4. Tilden Mine Track Construction, Ishpeming (Marquette County), Michigan, 1997

Custodial History

The materials in Accession M15-11, which include the maps, blueprints, floor plans, and schematics contained in this collection were obtained on February 10, 2015, by Marcus Robyns, University Archivist, and Bruce Sarjeant, Reference, Government Documents & Maps Librarian of the Olson Library.

Prior to that, the materials were in the possession of Barry A. and Cristin R. Williams of Ishpeming, Michigan. Cristin R. Williams indicated that her husband, Barry A. Williams, an employee of the Canadian National Railroad (CN) in Escanaba, Michigan, saw some workers preparing to destroy the material. Barry transferred as much as he could to his car and took the collection home.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The materials in Accession M15-11 were received from Barry A. and Cristin R. Williams of Ishpeming, Michigan, as a gift in 2015.

Deed of Gift and Agreement, signed by both individuals and dated May 4, 2015, is on file at the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives. The original document is maintained in the Donor File for collection MSS-363, The Soo Line Railroad (SOO) collection, with a copy filed in the Donor File for this collection.

Accruals

The Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives continues to add material to this collection as they become available.

Related Materials

Researchers interested in the freight and passenger services provided by the railroad companies serving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan may also consider the following materials that are available at the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives (http://www.nmu.edu/archives/home-page) and the Lydia M. Olson Library (http://library.nmu.edu). The finding aids for these collections of the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives are accessible online at http://aspace.nmu.edu:8081.

3302-01: Northern Michigan University and Area Audio Collection

ARCHIV-003: Vertical File

ARCHIV-014: Photographic File

ARCHIV-016: Maps and Plans

CCI: Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Mining Company Records

MSS-016: Marquette Lower Harbor Iron Ore Dock Blueprints

MSS-076: Charles H. Varnum papers

MSS-078: Dominic J. Jacobetti papers

MSS-130: Roscoe C. Young Autobiography

MSS-173: Bay de Noquet Company and Oconto Company records

MSS-317: Russell Magnaghi papers

MSS-329: Stewart A. Kingsbury papers

MSS-347: The Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company pension records

MSS-363: The SOO Line Railroad (SOO) collection

MSS-378: Wisconsin Central Ltd. (WC) collection

MSS-379: Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad (LS&I) collection

The following materials are available through the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives and the Lydia M. Olson Library.

Additional information is available by utilizing OneSearch to access the Library Catalog database online at http://library.nmu.edu.

“A Railroad Atlas of the United States in 1946. Vol. 4, Illinois, Wisconsin & Upper Michigan” by Richard C. Carpenter (2011). [Location: NMU Books] [Call Number: G1201.P3 C3 2003 vol. 4]

“All Aboard! A History of Railroads in Michigan” by Willis Frederick Dunbar (1966). [Location: NMU Books] [Call Number: HE2771.M5 D9]

“A Map of Logging Railroads in Upper Michigan’s East-Central Region, 1879-1965: Located in Parts of Alger, Luce, Mackinac and Schoolcraft Counties” by James L. Carter (2006). [Location: NMU Maps] [Call Number: G4112.U6P3 1965.C3]

“Along the Tracks: A Directory of Named Places on Michigan Railroads” by Graydon M. Meints (1987). [Location: NMU Books; NMU Archives] [Call Number: F564.M46 1987]

“C&NW’s Iron Ore Route” produced by Plets Express (1994). [Location: NMU Media] [Call Number: HE2791.C48 C44 1994]

“From Marquette, Michigan to Negaunee, Michigan, 1845-1857: The Plank Road and the First Railroad” by Robert D. Dobson (2007). [Location: NMU Archives] [Call Number: TE245.D63 2007]

“Great Railroad Conspiracy: The Social History of a Railroad War” by Charles Hirschfield (1953). [Location: NMU Books] [Call Number: HE2791.M6325 H5]

“History of the Canadian Pacific” by W. Kaye Lamb (1977). [Location: NMU Books] [Call Number: TF27.C3 L35]

“Keweenaw Central Railroad and the Crestview Resort” by Clarence J. Monette (1997). [Location: NMU Archives] [Call Number: HE2791.K553 M66 1997]

“Lake Superior Iron Ore Railroads” by Patrick C. Dorin (1977). [Location: NMU Books] [Call Number: TF677.D66 1977]

“Lake Superior & Ishpeming, Volume I, LS&I Mine Trains” produced by Plets Express (2002). [Location: NMU Media] [Call Number: HE2791.L2805 L25 2002]

“Lake Superior & Ishpeming, Volume II, Hill and Dock Trains” produced by Plets Express (2002). [Location: NMU Media] [Call Number: HE2791.L2805 L26 2002]

“Michigan Railroads and Railroad Companies” by Graydon M. Meints (1992). [Location: NMU Documents] [Call Number: TF24.M5 M45 1992]

“Michigan’s Railroad History: 1825-2014” edited by Michigan, Department of Transportation (2014). [Location: NMU Documents] [Call Number: HE2771.M5 M5 1987]

“Northland Baldwins and the E&LS” produced by Plets Express (1996). [Location: NMU Media] [Call Number: HE2791.E83 N67 1996]

“Official Railway Map, February 1978: Michigan” edited by Michigan, Department of State Highways and Transportation (1978). [Location: NMU Maps] [Call Number: G4111.P3 1978.M5]

“Railroads for Michigan” by Graydon M. Meints (2012). [Location: NMU Electronic Resources] [No Call Number – eBook]

“Railroads for Michigan” by Graydon M. Meints (2013). [Location: NMU Electronic Resources] [No Call Number – eBook]

“Railroads in Michigan: A Catalog of Company Publications, 1836-1980” by Le Roy Barnett (1986). [Location: NMU Books; NMU Archives; NMU Archives Special Collections] [Call Number: TF24.M5 B37 1986]

“The Copper Range Railroad” by Clarence J. Monette (1989). [Location: NMU Archives] [Call Number: TF25.C67 M66 1989]

“The Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railway: DSS&A: A History of the Lake Superior District’s Pioneer Iron Ore Hauler” by John Gaertner (2009). [Location: NMU Books; NMU Archives Special Collections] [Call Number: TF25.D857 G37 2009]

“The Haywire: A Brief History of the Manistique & Lake Superior Railroad” by Hugh A. Hornstein (2005). [Location: NMU Books] [Call Number: HE2791.M283 H67 2005]

“The Iron Range and Huron Bay Railroad: The Railroad that Never Ran” by Robert D. Dobson (2004). [Location: NMU Archives] [Call Number: HE2771.M5 D63 2004]

“The Mineral Range Railroad” by Clarence J. Monette (1993). [Location: NMU Archives] [Call Number: HE2791.M563 M66 1993]

“Transportation Map of Michigan” prepared by U.S. Geological Survey for the Office of Policy and Program Development, Federal Railroad Administration, United States Department of Transportation (1976). [Location: NMU Maps SuDocs (Map Area)] [Call Number: TD 3.16: T 68/2/975-76/19 Z]

“Union Pacific” by Maury Klein (1997). [Location: NMU Books] [TF25.U5 K53 1987]

Physical Description

Most maps, blueprints, floor plans, and schematics have tears around their periphery, slight water damage, and all maps are currently rolled up. Tears have been repaired and maps are being stored rolled in tube containers.
Title
Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad (LSI) collection
Status
Completed
Author
Glenda K. Ward, Arrangement and Description Specialist
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives Repository

Contact:
Harden Learning Resources Center 126
1401 Presque Isle Ave
Marquette 49855 United States
906-227-1225
906-227-1333 (Fax)

ABOUT THIS COLLECTION GUIDE

This is your guide to our historical collections of personal papers, organizational records, and manuscripts. Our collections cover such topics as Northern Michigan University history, the local iron mining industry, and the politics, economics, religion, environment, and culture of the Central Upper Peninsula region. Search by Keyword, Name, Title, Subject, or Collecting Areas. The finding aids for our collections will give you an overview of the contents and information on where they are located.


Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Ave. • Marquette, MI 49855-5301 • 906–227–1000
© 2018 by the NMU Board of Trustees. NMU is an equal opportunity institution.