Mineral Rng depot
57 Huron St. Houghton MI 49931
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57 Huron Street

Mineral Range Railroad Depot, 1903
Previously owned by the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railroad
U.P. Kids, c. 2010

The depot included separate waiting rooms for men and women. - In Progress

As the older railroad depot, the idea for the Mineral Range Railroad Depot, later shortened to Mineral Range Railroad Company, was first conceived in April 1871. The Mineral Range and L’Anse Bay Railroad company organized a railroad operation that would extend from the Keweenaw Bay to Calumet. The forty-five mile railroad would additionally pass through Houghton and Hancock. Direct shipment was now available from Marquette to Calumet thanks to cooperation with the Marquette, Houghton and Ontonagon Railroad and the completed construction of the first railway bridge across the Portage in 1886. By 1892, the railroads were under the new ownership of the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railroad (DSS&A).

Because of these new developments, Houghton became an important switching center for the DSS&A. East of Houghton, the company constructed a freight depot and car yard along the waterfront. The beautiful Mineral Range Railroad Depot was erected in 1903, its structure based on the sketches done by the DSS&A president and the general manager W. F. Fitch. The building cost over $21,000 to complete. The depot was built to be one-story and its exterior featured Jacobsville sandstone. The interior displayed birch woodwork and a ticket window with elaborate brass grillwork. Inside was a ticket office, baggage room, and separate waiting rooms for men and women, with the men’s waiting room being nearly three times larger. Double doors on the south side of the depot building opened to a carriage drive and another set of double doors on the north side opened to the rail platform. 

The railroad no longer operated by the 1930s. The building was left abandoned and suffered water damage in the 1980s. The depot was sold to Mattila Contracting, Inc. to be renovated. Mattila renovated it first into their offices and then eventually sold it to U.P. Kids in 2013. 

Sources: Historic Houghton Walking Tour; Image: University Archives and Historical Collections MS044-003-001-008