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Scenic Petoskey: 1908

Scenic Petoskey: 1908

Circa 1908. "R.R. station at Petoskey, Michigan." Not just a city, Petoskey is also the official state stone. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing. View full size.


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Not the Upper Peninsula

Petoskey is not in the Upper Peninsula. Those of us who are in the UP are noticing some pretty darn warmer winters and hotter summers than we care for. Lake Superior seldom freezes over anymore, which it did on a fairly regular basis from 1965 until the 90's; at least that's the way I remember it.

By the look of that ungraded coal

I wouldn't want to be shoveling those larger chunks into the firebox.

Hand firing a steam locomotive was a horribly hot filthy job
at the best of times, but in the heat of summer: no thank-you!

However, I can't recall any hoggers who didn't have to serve as fireman before 'moving to the right side of the cab'.

Old switcher

From the looks of the larger engine (Likely a 4-6-0) on the main with the standing train, I'd have to say that the nearer locomotive is probably an aging 4-4-0, or 2-6-0 that is living out its life having been sidelined to switcher use. Contrary to what Mark said though, there are sight glasses visible at the very top edge of the firebox, suggesting that there has been a rebuild at some point to bring her up to more "modern" standards.

Petoskey and Me

Many years ago at an industry convention I met an appliance dealer from Petoskey. I don't remember the fellow's name but the store, I believe, was called Puff or Puffs. We had an advertising session and I remember all his ads had their logo, a train with smoke rising from the engine forming the letters P-U-F-F in each cloud of smoke. We hit it off and talked for quite a while. He said they didn't sell a lot of room air conditioners because it really never got that hot on the Upper Peninsula (I wonder if that has changed?). However they put the advertising emphasis on food freezers because of the predominance of their hunting population and that helped them get through the summer. That I still remember this after 40 or so years shows that the guy impressed me.

Michigan State Stone

Petoskey stone is actually fossilized coral from the time when Michigan was inundated with a saltwater sea. When it is polished it makes for a lovely semiprecious stone.

Still around.

The train station still exists and is still involved in travel. It's at the corner of Bay and Lewis and, unfortunately, has been converted to office space and is currently the home of Andrew Kan Travel. The covered concourse has been enclosed but the station looks largely intact.

Park it in Petoskey

It looks like Pennsylvania Station, now at one end of Pennsylvania Park; the tracks still run through but the train doesn't.

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Why did it take so long?

I wondered as I looked over the baggage cart and noticed of course, there were no wheels on luggage back then. Why did it take so long to invent them? One source says a guy named Ali came up with removable wheels between 1914 and 1920 but there is no proof and no patent listed. Best bet is Bernard Sadow in 1970 with a patent in 1972. Manufacturers still do not pay him any licensing fees. Great triple train photo - thanks Dave.

Petoskey Stone

An unusual material. It is a fossil stone used in jewelry.

Passenger Pigeons

This is also the city in Michigan where, when this was taken, it had been 30 years since the last large stand of roosting passenger pigeons had been decimated (with only smaller flocks to survive until the end of the century). There is a plaque to commemorate the event.

The Tank Engine

on the nearest train has an interesting collection of bits and pieces on the tank top - fire irons, brake hoses and what look like grate sections - and some really ordinary-looking coal in the bunker. It hasn't yet been fitted with gauge glasses, so the poor old crew have to get by with try-cocks to see how much water they have in the boiler. Glad I don't have to fire the thing. I also like the oil or acetylene headlight, with its roller blind to cover it during meets.

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