Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad

Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad is a partly abandoned railroad in northern Michigan that mainly hauled iron ore. All of the lines east of Marquette were abandoned in 1979, with the exception of five miles of track that connects with the ex-Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railroad to a paper mill in Munising.

In 1892, the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railway Company (LS&I) was organized and its initial route was completed in 1896 between Presque Isle north of Marquette southwest to Ishpeming. 1 The Munising Railway (MR) was founded in 1895 and two lines were constructed between Princeton and Munising and from Stillman and Cusino.

The Marquette & South Eastern Railway (M&SE) was organized in 1900 and built a railroad from Big Bay to Lawson, where it had a junction with the MR. 1 In 1911, the MR merged with the M&SE to form the Munising, Marquette & South Eastern Railway (MM&SE), which then merged with the LS&I in 1923 to form the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad (LS&I). It boasted 173 miles of mainline track.

On July 23, 1979, the LS&I was abandoned from Little Lake east to Munising Junction, where there was a junction with the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railroad (DSS&A). 2 The remaining track to Munising’s Kimberly Clark Paper Mill was then handled by the DSS&A.



  1. Pierce. “A Short History of the Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad.” Unofficial Home Page for theLake Superior & Ishpeming RR. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Jan. 2012. Article.
  2. “Railroad History Timeline 1970-1979.” Michigan’s Internet Railroad History Museum. N.p., n.d. Web.11 Jan. 2012. Article.


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Trying to find old pictures of the railroad Depot in Chatham, MI, as well as any pictures of the trains going through Chatham during the railroad era there. I recently purchased the old Depot, and am wondering what year it was built, and if anybody has any information willing to share with me. Thank you.

According to his obit, in 1852 William Hale, an experienced Vermont railroad surveyor went to Marquette, MI and surveyed a 14 mile long railroad to “the iron mountain.” At the time it was considered an “engineering marvel.” What railroad would that have been and what was it’s successor line..?


Jerry Fox

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