In 1880 Michigan Central Railroad selected Chelsea for an experimental new rail station with an upgraded user friendly appearance. The effort was to improve the look of rural train stops. Mason and Rice were contracted to design the Chelsea station, and chose a charming (if not quaint) Victorian “gingerbread” design for the new station.
This station was part of the Michigan Central line until 1975 when Amtrak took over MCRR. Amtrak cut Chelsea off the line in 1981 when even the original MCS in Detroit was permanently closed and later abandoned.
The people of Chelsea formed a local group to preserve this small town station as a tourist attraction.
This is the Chelsea “Welfare Building”, designed in 1906 as a rec center for employees of the Glazier Stove company. It had a swimming facility, billiards, basketball courts, a theatre and a reading room. Because Chelsea was a rather backwards rural town at that time, skilled labor was imported via MCRR from Detroit on a special train used just for the company’s labor force.
The Chelsea local paper has been in this building since 1960.
Old warehouse along the MCRR, now closed and being partially renovated into the new downtown Chelsea.
Awww..Lookit the fake old time dry goods store. [correction from Chelsea ex-pat: that feed store’s real. The local farmers (my family having been one) actually buy feed there. Granted, lately it’s more rich people with horses than dairy farmers, but still.]
These days Chelsea is known as home of Jiffy baked goods company.