Newaygo County Railroads
by Terry E. Wantz
The railroads were built mainly for and by the larger lumber companies. They needed a way to ship their lumber and logs
to a bigger market and to get supplies and food for the men and the horses. As soon as the railroad were built, this made a new
way for the pioneers, farmers and businessmen to come to this area. They came from everywhere, the land was cheap and the
could cut the trees to build their homes, sell the rest of the logs that they didn't need to the lumber company to help pay for their
new land. Many of farm were paid for in this way, all they had to do was to removed the stumps and the land was good for farming.
A lot of the farmers even work for the lumber companies in the winter and farm in the summer to help pay off their farms.
With more and more settler coming everyday settlement began to spring up along the railroads, there became a need for depots for loading and unloading the trains. The first settlement that you came to coming from Muskegon to Newaygo County on the Muskegon and Big Rapids Railroad was right at the county line which was called Marionville, named after Charles Marion, who had a saw mill there and did much to established the settlement. It's was also called County Line Station on several old railroad maps. In 1881 when they applied to have a post office there was already a Marionville so they change the name of the settlement to Dash. In 1897 the name was change to Brunswick.
The next stop was the Reeman Station, then came Lake Station, Fremont Center now called Fremont, Wooster, Ryerson Station, also called Wooster Hill and Worchester Hill, Alleyton and Morgan Station, now called White Cloud. The first stop or station after Morgan Station was Swain's Crossing, then came Field's, McLane, Hayes Siding, Traverse Road Station, Home, later called Woodville, Barstows Switch, Hungerford, Lumberton and Trunbull before you reached the Mecosta County Line.
If you were coming from Grand Rapids to Fremont you could take the train on the Grand Rapids, Newaygo and Lake Shore Railroad. The first station or stop that you would come to in Newaygo County would be Ashland City (the post office there was called Lake), then came Ashland Station, later called Grant Station now Grant, next was Brooks and then Newaygo. You could get off the train at Newaygo and get someone with a team to bring you to Fremont or you could stay on the train and go to Morgan Station (White Cloud). There you could switch to the Muskegon and Big Rapids Railroad train and come to Fremont. If you were traveling North you would stay on the train at Morgan Station and the next stop you came to would be Diamond Lake, also called Diamond Loch or Ramona, next was Park's City, then there was Dingman, also called Otia, now called Brohman, next was Brookings, Walkup, Biteley, now spelled Bitely, Lilley and Jewell, later called Alderson, just before you came to the Lake County Line.
Many of these small settlements are now gone. Most of the Post Offices closed with the establishment of Rural Free Delivery or R.F.D. This proved a death-knell to many of the small post offices.