Copper Range School Train

Route of the School train and major stops

In 1908, Adams Township high school students were moved to Painesdale from Atlantic Mine under the supervision of superintendent Fred A. Jeffers and his wife, Cora Jeffers. In 1909, the Copper Range Railroad, at the request of Stanton Township, began a schedule of trains to carry Stanton Township high school students to Painesdale. This special school train was the first and only one in the nation and carried about three hundred children, sixty to ninety to Stanton Township.

Typical Copper Range coach used for the school train

The train left Houghton at six o'clock in the morning, dropped an empty coach off at Atlantic Mine, and then at Mill Mine Junction it turned west and traveled twenty miles to Freda from the first pickup of students from Beacon Hill, Edgemere, Stanwood (Redridge), Salmon Trout, and Obenhoff, and went back to Mill Mine Junction. There the locomotive would back track to Atlantic Mine and hook up with the coach that had been left there, now filled up with Atlantic Mine sutdents. Then the train would head east with some four or five coaches and pick up students in South Range and Tri-Mountain, and it would arrive at Painesdale at 8:30 in the morning with about three hundred children.The high school at that time had an enrollment of over four hundred children.

schooltick.jpg (16908 bytes)

Ticket book used by the Copper Range for school  passes

In the evening, the trip would be reversed. This train, according to the Associated Press, was the only one of its kind in America and ran even through the severest winter weather. The last school train to Stanton Township was in June 1942. The last school train for Adams Township was in June 1944. Since then, Stanton Township high school students are bused to Houghton, and Adams Township students are bused to Painesdale.

(Related by William Brinkman)

Additional note:

CRRR Coaches number 58 and 59 were used on a regular basis for the school train and were painted dull brown. Both coaches were made of wood, 52 feet in length and were constructed in 1904 by American Car & Foundry Company (similar to the one shown above.).

Presented and Copyright by Kevin E. Musser Copper Range Railroad and Copper Country Historical Page