GRASS LAKE, Mich. (WLNS) — It’s time to get “all aboard” a new museum in mid-Michigan.
It tells the forgotten history of a way we used to get around before cars took over the roads.
6 News got a sneak peak at the museum before its grand opening.
Imagine a time before everyone had a car and it was difficult to travel outside your town whenever you wanted.
Thankfully, in the early 1900s the interurban railway came to connect suburbs and rural communities to urban centers for business and pleasure.
“It was very convenient,” said James Stormont, a volunteer and board member at the Lost Railway Museum. “The interurban ran on approximately half hour schedules. And there was more than one. So it made it convenient to go from Grass Lake to Jackson.”
While passenger trains were available they only stopped at certain places and not as frequently.
The interurban went off the rails by the 1930s as cars and roads improved.
But now this forgotten mode of transportation is getting a second ride at the Lost Railway Museum in Grass Lake.
The museum was started last year by a Jackson County native with an interest in interurbans whose father used to have a car dealership at the same building.
Others have since come on board by donating and volunteering.
And now the museum is ready for its grand opening this weekend.
“We’re proud we can be a part of it,” Stormont said.
The centerpiece of the museum is car number 47.
It’s similar to an interurban car you would have seen around Grass Lake in the early 1900s.
The rail car ran through the streets of Chicago, and will soon be restored to its former glory.
“It’s a work in process. But the volunteers are so talented on the things they can do,” Stormont said.
Stormont says more attractions are coming soon to tell the story of the rise and fall of this lost railway.
He hopes visitors learn about how far we’ve come.
“It was a time when transportation was not a convenience. It was a luxury,” Stormont said.
The grand opening is happening Saturday, July 1 at the Lost Railway Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A ribbon cutting will take place at 11:30 a.m.
The museum is located at 142 West Michigan Avenue in Grass Lake.
For more information on hours and rates visit this link: http://www.lostrailwaymuseum.org/