FBG Project D-043
• Source: FBG-Sweet's
Project for Houghton County Street Railway
- Houghton, MI
- Early 1905
One of several jobs known from the listing in the FBG advertisement in the 1909 Sweet's Catalogue.
Note: I have been provided with some very complete information on this project by a local historian, and will be completely updating this listing when I have time. An essential detail is that this project was executed in about 1901, and so is presently far out of sequence in both the listings and the general description below.
A very strange report from the labor newspaper World's Work was reprinted in Real Estate Record & Building Guide, 1 Sep 1906, about labor issues with the Polish workers on this job. Yost mentions it in the context that the “six shooter in each hand” passage must have upset Lillian. The veracity of this report is undetermined but is useful in dating the project to sometime in 1906 or earlier.
The website Michigan Railroads has the following entries for 1905:
- February 25: A street car strike affecting all parts of the Houghton County Street railway commenced just after midnight this morning. There has been no violence by any member of the union, so far as can be ascertained, and the union disclaims any responsibility for any “molestations” that have taken place. The trouble has arisen over the importation of outside labor by the street car company, following immediately upon an organization of a union there.
- April 21: Continued trouble on the striking Houghton County Street Railway. Two sticks of dynamite were found near the rails of the railway, wrapped up in small boughs and tied fast. While striking railway employees were parading up Hecla Street in Laurium, a gang of youths threw stone sat a passing through car. One stone entered the window of the car and struck a lady who was riding and received a severe blow across the head. Last night a similar attack occurred in Red Jacket when a car proceeding from the Mineral Range depot to Laurium was bombarded with a fusillade of stone. Windows were smashed. A deputy named Schulte was on the ar and proceeded to the vestibule, displaying his revolver. The car proceeded on its journey up the street and further trouble was avoided. On April 25th, two cars of the railway were fired upon just before midnight near Boston. No one was injured. The shots shattered the windows and some of the lead was picked up off the floor of the cars.
No labor issues are noted for 1906. It can be assumed that the incident from the clipping is likely the same incident of April 21, further dating this project.
It is probably irrelevant, but the 750-HP engine for this railway was being built at the same time as that for the Brockton & Plymouth (May 1901); see that entry for a trade notice.
A rather bizarre photo of the facility under construction, using rail ties as scaffolding, exists, making the project look like a frontier fort.
- Ad in Street Railway Journal
- Trade notices
- Ad in Street Railway Journal, 13 Oct 1906:
- World's Work Sep 1906:
- As reprinted in Real Estate Record & Building Guide, 1 Sep 1906: