|Williams, Michigan: Kalamazoo County Ghost Town|
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This is a postcard view of the depot. (Date?)
This is a photo of the depot taken from on top of a flatcar. I wonder where the gears are destined to go. Note the Alamo Creamery across the street from the depot. (Date?)
This is the oldest photo of the depot I've found. Notice the ladder leaning on the signal bar, which is attached to the depot. This photo pre-dates the postcard above which shows the signal on its own dedicated pole.
This is a real photo postcard view of the depot. This is probably dated around 1910.
Here are some excerpts from George Harold Sliter's book, "Recollections of Alamo and Heirs of Erin" (Biography Press)
"Our house was in Alamo Centre District and that's where I started to school one day in September, 1910.
At that time in Alamo Center the area near the railroad was the most active part of town.
Besides the depot, which was one of the largest on the line, there was a small stockyard, a coal pile, several pickle vats and two stacked piles of lumber.
All on the depot side of the road.
On the opposite side of the road, on the corner across from the depot, was a creamery and a grist mill and feed store.
Next to them was the station master's house painted the same orange yellow as the depot. A Mr. Phillips, "Winkey", lived there..."
"The depot was located on the corner opposite the creamery and consisted of a waiting room with benches, a baggage room and an office with a telegraph set.
Mr. Phillips - "Winkie" - was the telegrapher before he became the agent.
Just east of the depot was a spur track and along side it was a stockyard, several large pickle vats, a pile of coal, a pile of lumber and a pile of fence posts.
I saw them every day while walking to school in 1910.
There were six passenger trains a day, three going each way morning, noon and night.
I remember one time of them meeting at Alamo and the train from Kalamazoo backed into the siding.
This was an emergency meeting and as luck would have it, there was no boxcar on the siding that day.
The train from South Haven barely had room to inch by.
There was a long freight train in the morning, mostly empty cars, traveling west and in the afternoon a fully loaded one from the opposite direction, sometimes pulled by two engines.
Chicago and Milwaukee shipped freight by water to South Haven and the railroad would pick it up there, and during the fruit harvest would haul fruit from Berrien County, occasionally with an extra train.
The grade was steep near Hopkins and sometimes the train could not pull up it. The engineer would give a distress signal on his whistle and the station manager would telegraph to Kalamazoo for a bumper engine.
This hill section of the railroad was most troublesome and on a few occasions the track would spread and the engine would derail.
So they would back a train out from Kalamazoo to pick up the passengers before they sent equipment to rerail the engine."
Source of the above photos and postcards: Alamo Township Museum.
If you have anything you'd like to see added to this webpage, please contact me (Tom) at: williamsmichigan @ earthlink.net. Questions and comments are also welcome!
This web page was last updated on 28 Sep 05.