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    Lost Railway Museum to Host a Fundraiser!  

  Uncovering History, One Track at a Time


      Before the car, when horses were still the way people got around town, the Interurban railway showed up and changed lives. Folks fromrural America took a ride to the city – to shop, to seek medical care or retreat to the lakeside casino; this was the best way to travel.

     You may not be familiar with this part of our history. And that’s why we brought it back. Most interurban systems started in the late 19th century and only operated until the late 1920’s. A very short lifespan for such a significant industry that grew quickly and died just as fast. Most people alive today have never heard of the interurban system.     

It is the Lost Railway!!!

     The Lost Railway Museum will host a fundraiser on Friday May 4, 2018 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm located at 142 W. Michigan Ave. Grass Lake, MI. The cost to attend is $75 per person.

     Heavy Appetizers provided by the Roaming Goat of Grass Lake. Beverages will be provided. Must be 21 to attend.

     This fundraiser will showcase the progress being made on the restoration of Car #47 and Car #29 along with the other additions to the museum. Reservations are required.



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Lost Railway Museum Receives Brick Award
from Jackson County Chamber!  

Jackson, MI (December 20, 2017)

The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce announced its 109th Annual Meeting Award Recipients at the 12/6/2017 Off the Clock.

The 2017 Brick Awards – Sponsored by the Jackson Commercial Contractors Association are presented to nominated Chamber members who have made substantial building improvements (internal/external) to their business location.

“Thank you to all of our volunteers for their hard work, dedication and contribution of time and money”. They have made the Lost Railway Museum a reality” said Phil Willis, President of the Board of Directors.

Lost Railway Museum relives the history of the electric interurban railway era of the early 1900’s. It takes you through the transformation of the horse and buggy to the interurban electric railway to the automobiles. The museum shows an introductory video on the interurban railway history on the big screen in the theatre/banquet room. The video was produced by JTV. Come visit and see the model village of Grass Lake circa 1900.

The museum is open Wednesday and Thursday from 11 am to 4 pm and Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm. Also consider the museum for your next banquet or party, we have a unique space for any event.

The 109th Annual Meeting will take place Thursday, January 25, 2018 at the Jackson College Potter Center from 5:30 – 9:00 pm. Tickets are $65 per person. Call 517-782-8221 for reservations.









An 1800’s horsecar that appeared in the movie Hello Dolly, and the Disney movie Newsies, has made its final stop in Grass Lake. 

According to Wikipedia, a horsecar is an animal-powered (usually a horse) tram or streetcar. The horsecar was an early form of public rail transport that developed out of industrial haulage routes that had long been in existence, and from the omnibus routes that first ran on public streets in the 1820s, using the newly improved iron or steel rail or ‘tramway’. These were local versions of the stagecoach lines and picked up and dropped off passengers on a regular route, without the need to be pre-hired. Horsecars on tramlines were an improvement over the omnibus, as the low rolling resistance of metal wheels on iron or steel rails (usually grooved from 1852 on) allowed the animals to haul a greater load for a given effort than the omnibus and gave a smoother ride. The horse-drawn streetcar combined the low cost, flexibility, and safety of animal power with the efficiency, smoothness, and all-weather capability of a rail right-of-way.

This horsecar was built in 1886 by the St. Louis Car Company and operated by the San Diego Coronado Beach Railroad in 1888 as noted on the car until 1896 when electrification took place. Around 1959 the Railway Historical Society of San Diego acquired a St. Louis car body minus platforms and under carriage from a backyard in Chollas Valley loop of the Sd&AE’s El Cajan branch that was converted into a small shed and was taken to  El Cajan for safekeeping.

In the mid 1960s Charles Verdi of the Railway Historical Society of San Diego restored the San Diego horsecar number 43. By the year 1984 when it was later purchased by the Bothwell Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. On November 11, the Bothwell collection of vintage racecars along with five (5) horsecars were auctioned off by the Bonhams Auction Co. Alex Pollock was the winning bidder of the San Diego horsecar that now resides on loan at the Lost Railway Museum.




Article & Pictures courtesy of the Grass Lake Times