The 1903 Train Wreck and Vintage Photos of Mayville: Tuscola County, Michigan
The little town of Mayville sits in Tuscola County's Fremont Township in the Michigan Thumb.
Mayville's story does not begin in the area that is now Mayville – it began two miles southwest of here on October 16, 1860. It was in this area that a post office began operating under the name “May”. Things seemed to be going fine for five years until Dexter Choat settled in the section of land two miles northeast. He decided to name this land “Mayville” and the May post office was therefore moved here. But the P.O. held onto the name 'May' for a good 25 years until it finally switched over to 'Mayville' in 1890.
The railroad eventually came thru Mayville in 1882 and the village became incorporated in 1887.
In 1903, tragedy struck and for a moment ruined Mayville's tranquility. Two Pere Marquette passenger trains collided head-on in Mayville, injuring seven and killing two. The accident happened on the curve just a half mile east of the Mayville depot. As bad as this was, this event could have been much worse. The westbound train engineer – named Kelly – set the air brakes, which slowed down the train to a point where it is believed to have prevented more deaths and injuries.
Looking for a probable cause – maybe even a scapegoat – it was determined that the accident was due to a “mistake in orders”.
The depot has been saved from demolition and moved where it is now used for the Mayville Area Museum of History and Genealogy.
Vintage Photos of Mayville, Tuscola County
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