In 1899 Marshall was granted an interurban franchise license which allowed it to construct an electric railroad on the streets of Marshall that extended all the way from Battle Creek to Jackson, a distance of 47 miles. Later that distance was extended to go from Kalamazoo to Detroit, where it connected with other electric lines. The train cars looked like trolleys and carried both passengers and freight.

A depot was built at 216-218-220 W. Michigan Avenue, where Fountain Automotive now operates. If you look at the northeast corner of their building, you will see a corner from the original depot still standing that now houses Walter’s Gasoline Museum. An interurban mural can be viewed from the parking lot, painted by Dennis McKeen around 2015, where the carpet and soap advertisements are shown in the photo below.

On July 1, 1929, interurban freight cars made their last trip through Marshall.


Source: “A History of Marshall” by Richard Carver, ©1993.