The Haywire: A Brief History Of The Manistique And Lake Superior Railroad
- Publish Date: 2005-05-17
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Hugh A. Hornstein
The Haywire, a railroad more properly known as the Manistique and Lake Superior Railroad for much of its existence, was one of what Willis Dunbar called the Little Fellows. In its earliest days it was the product of a New York visionary who saw a bright future for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Builders laid track through gloomy swamps, heavy forests, and treacherous muskegs. During its three-quarters of a century of existence, the railroad carried iron ores, lumber, pulpwood, alcoholic beverages, and livestock. Having limited passenger accommodations, it carried them in both passenger cars as well as cabooses, in rail-mounted motor cars, and, even, on occasion, in the locomotive cabs. Briefly, it even carried passengers on its own railroad car ferry.
The Haywire played a major role in the industrial development of Michigan's Manistique and Schoolcraft counties. However, for much of its life it existed in virtual anonymity-merely the northern branch of a Lower Peninsula railroad.
Started by visionaries, the railroad was finished by scavengers. By 1968, The Haywire had outlived its usefulness; it had become an economic drain on its parent, the Ann Arbor Railroad, which also had economic problems. With one exception, the industries it had helped to found had ceased to exist. Trucks, cars, and a major class-1 railroad had taken over virtually all traffic; therefore, on 18 July 1968, at 12:01 A.M. The Haywire ceased to exist.