The History of the Kaleva Train Depot
The Kaleva train depot was built between the years 1902 and 1910 and it was known as "Manistee Crossing". It was the point on the railroad where passengers and cargo could go either farther north in Michigan, or soutn to Chicago. Kaleva was the end point of a race between the Manistee & North Eastern (M&NE) railroad and the Pere Marquette railroad. The M&NE serviced from Manistee to Northern Michigan, the Pere Marquette serviced from Chicago through Northern Michigan.
The two railroads entered into an agreement that whichever one reached Kaleva last would have to build and maintain the connecting rail between the two railroads. The race was on! A loss would mean much expense to the loser because of the cost of high quality steel, and the cost of maintaining the connector.
The Manistee and North eastern lost the race, fulfilled their bargain and maintained the depot in Kaleva, which bustled with new businesses and new ventures at the turn of the century.
The depot is free, and open to the public in the summer on Saturdays from 12pm-4pm. The depot will be staffed by and house the model train collections of the Northwest Enthusiast Train Club.