Railroad’s Glory Days
The Airline Division of the Michigan Central, of course, is the railroad that passed through Colon. It opened in 1871 and was pulled up in 1983.
Another intersection of that line was in Fairfax, where it crossed the Goshen-Battle Creek Railroad. That line was built through Sturgis in 1889, providing several passenger and freight trains daily. The line was originally called the Sturgis, Goshen & St. Louis Railroad. Its popular name became the “Punkin Vine” to describe its wandering route through the countryside. When the railroad was built through Sturgis, its owners paid for moving all bodies from the old cemetery on West Chicago Road to Oak Lawn Cemetery. The railroad entered Sturgis from the south, crossing M-66 just south of Grumman-Olson Co. The railroad then headed northeast to Findley, Fairfax, Leonidas and Battle Creek. The Goshen-Battle Creek shared the (LS & MS) Lake Shore and Michigan Southern passenger and freight stations in Sturgis. The “Punkin Vine” eventually became part of the Michigan Central. Passenger service ended on June 7, 1931 and the line was partially abandoned in 1934, 1960, and totally in 1975.
Fairfax interlocking, looking east in 1910. The train is probably a SB passenger train on the Battle Creek-Goshen branch. The interlocking tower can be seen at the left.
This neat old picture is of the Post Office and General Store in Fairfax.
Same picture blown up so you can read the sign. Below is the same building in 2012