Grand Rapids and Indiana Line Station

402 East Michigan Avenue

GR&I Railroad Depot, c.1890. Kalamazoo Public Library Photograph P-249


Location: 402 East Michigan, Kalamazoo
Survey ID: C-1
Designation: Grand Rapids and Indiana Line Station
Date: 1871-72
Style: Italian Revival

The following material is from the 1973 Initial Inventory of Historic Sites and Buildings in Kalamazoo and was made available for use here by the Historic Preservation Coordinator of the City of Kalamazoo. See Introduction to an Initial Inventory for details about how the survey was conducted.

The present “Whistlestop” restaurant began as a way station in a dream to run rail lines from Fort Wayne through Grand Rapids to Mackinac and then to connect across the Upper Peninsula with the Northern Pacific. “Western Michigan, by this splendid enterprise, is now unified” said the Gazette in October of 1869. A year later, tracks stretched from Fort Wayne to Grand Rapids and a little north. Townspeople provided an elaborate celebration when the line officially opened to Kalamazoo. A special train with flags and bunting flying chugged to Vicksburg for a picnic and a round of stump speeches. The “Grand Rapids and Indiana” line was soon receiving its passengers and freight in the stately Italian Revival station which now stands at the corner of Pitcher and East Michigan.

Plans to push the line to Mackinac proceeded. In 1871, the rails reached Cadillac; then it was Petoskey, and finally, in 1882, beaten by the Michigan Central feeder line a year earlier, to Mackinac. Construction costs and operating expenses put the line into receivership by 1895. Reorganized under essentially the same name, it continued on until after World War I, when it was leased to the Pennsylvania Line.

This report was converted from a typewritten document to a digital text document in September 2004. Other than punctuation and spelling corrections, and the addition of BOLD type site address and names, no changes were made. Minor formatting changes were made for use on this website, but the text was not altered. Original survey dated 1973.

Additional Sources


Kalamazoo: Nineteenth-century Homes in a Midwestern Village

Schmitt, Peter J.
Kalamazoo City Historical Commission, 1976, page 143
H 720.9774 S355

History Room Subject File

Buildings – Kalamazoo – Michigan, E., 402

Whistle Stop

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