Mackinaw City Railroad Dock
Before the Mackinac Bridge opened in 1957, ships were the only means of connecting Michigan's peninsulas. During the 1870s, small sailing vessels served as ferries. Steamboats took over when the Michigan Central Railroad reached Mackinaw in 1881. The creation of the railroad car ferry system and the construction of this dock and one like it in St. Ignace enabled ferries to shuttle rail cars across the Straits of Mackinac year-round. The A-frame adjusted the height of the tracks to match the decks of the ships. Upper Peninsula copper and iron ore were the main cargo. The ice-breaking ferry CHIEF WAWATAM was unique for loading cars through the bow. It ceased operations in 1984 and the tracks were removed in 1991.