The Railroad Trestle
A misinterpretation by an early Hillsdale historian has resulted in decades of misinformation regarding the railroad trestle that was located near the Fairgrounds. One part of the Southern Michigan Railroad ran next to the St. Joe Streets, on our current Baw Beese Trail. On August 15, 1871, the City of Hillsdale passed an Ordinance to allow the Detroit, Hillsdale & Indiana Railroad Company to cross over the Southern Michigan track. This train trestle crossed Broad Street at the north end of the Fairgrounds and then headed southwest toward Bankers. It has been often repeated that the span was "30 feet high." The span was 30 feet wide when it ran over Broad Street. Its height was13.5 feet. This relatively low height almost led to the beheading of a poor Forepaugh Circus worker who was riding on top of one of the circus wagons one Saturday night.
The railway trestle came to rest at the corner of Sharp and Budlong Streets, where the depot was located.
Carol A. Lackey