News Archive

Feb 26 2013

Author to Speak about Michigan’s Historic Train Stations

Michigan's Historic Railroad Stations

From the Michigan Association of Railroad Passengers:

The enduring appeal of the classic railway depot has inspired songwriters, advertisers, and painters. Most recently, it has led Michael H. Hodges on an odyssey throughout the state to photograph and learn the stories of thirty-one of Michigan’s interesting and picturesque railroad stations.

Mar 02 2013

St. Johns, Then and Now, contributed by the Michigan Association of RR Passengers

historic cars outside St. Johns Depot

St. Johns, the Clinton County hub 18 miles north of Lansing, came close to bearing the name Sweglesville in honor of John Swegles, the Michigan auditor-general who bought, surveyed and cleared land for new settlements along the projected route of the Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad. Swegles (remember his first name was John) had greatly influenced the beginning of this new village in 1853 and his companions apparently believed it should bear his name. Either that or the reverend in the group had John the Apostle in mind.

May 11 2013


Sunday, May 12, 2013 - 13:00 - 15:00

The St. Johns Depot was open for the first time this year, last Sunday. It will be open every Sunday from then until the END of October.
The team has not had a grand opening as there are some things that need to be done before a crowd can be handled. The team is installing a protective shield around the Jerry Banks Layout and a small bridge is being made to make the passages a mite safer while transferring from caboose to museum car. The team calls the two cars, Scrappy and Annie.

Aug 07 2013

Visitors galore

Jenny and the Marie getting ready to be moved, the car not the lovely lady.

The one week that the McCampbells were gone the depot and cars were under the guidance of Dobby Everts. Dobby is our man to go to for putting on our special events. Well this time he covered for them while they were in the Chicago area for a family reunion on Jenny's side as well as for her 70th birthday.

Dobby did such an excellent job as indicated by the number of folks that stopped by the depot and the sales in the gift store.

The next week the depot was again busy with a steady flow of families from many different parts of the county and state.

Aug 18 2013


Sunday, September Sept 29, 2013. 1 PM

Clinton Northern Railway (CNR), a branch of the Clinton County Arts Council (CCAC) and the Friends of the Fred Meijer Clinton-Ionia-Shiawassee Trail (FMCIS) are holding a bike ride fund-raiser to help with the expenses of the restoration of CNR’s 4 historic railcars and to support the development of the much-anticipated rail trail. We hope that you can ride with us! If you can’t participate, please consider sending a donation made out to CCAC/Railroad or to FMCIS and mail it to 107 E. Railroad Street, St. Johns, MI 48879. In fact, if you aren’t in this area, you may want to hold your own off-site Bike Ride for the Railway and donate what you raise.

The key information you need is below:

• Begins at the Depot in St Johns 107 E Railroad St
• Family oriented…fun for all ages …take the trivia challenge… prizes
• Three routes 20, 40 or 60 mi
• Tasty hot meal included at the end of the ride served at the Main Street Cafe
• SAG service - all paved roads
• Pre-registration up through August 31: $15 individual - $30 family
• Same day registration $20 individual - $40 family
• For more information please call Jenny McCampbell 989 224 6134, Beth Smith 989 224 6629, or Kathy Simon 989-593-3642
• Visit our websites: and

Please print and sign the attached entry and waiver

Oct 12 2013



Get into the HALLOWEEN SPIRIT at the St. Johns Depot on Sunday, October 20, 1:00 – 3:00 PM. Outside there will be a pet-costume contest, decorated-pumpkin contest and old-fashioned games to play. Inside, the Depot will be transformed into a tableau of witches, ghosts, monsters, etc., many of which are walking around, playing games, building their own monsters and eating snakes – oops, snacks! Plus: the return of the Haunted Hallway.

Dec 08 2013

Mail your Letters to Santa in the Railroad Post Office

HO HO HO Fat Jolly Old Elf seeks letters and wish lists from children of all ages.
Purpose - to have smiles and happy squeals on Christmas morning.

If you haven’t mailed your letter yet, be sure to complete your list and a note to Santa himself.... That Jolly Old Elf..... And put it in the mail slot of St Johns own mailcar at the depot. The RPO (railroad post office ) car has a slot to send your letter off to the north pole! Hurry and mail your list so it will be there when Santa checks his list!

Apr 28 2014

Railway Museum Opens for the Season May 4

Three historic cars by the Depot

What do flowers, the season opening of Clinton Northern Railway Museum at 107 E. Railroad St., St. Johns, and Mother’s Day have in common? Plan to visit and see on the first two Sundays of the museum’s season: May 4 and 11 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM.

Jun 16 2014

Progress on historic rail car restoration

Stained glass window for Sault Ste. Marie

Our 9-member crew of volunteers have been working hard on a number of fronts. 

The Railroad Post Office: they are repairing wood on the clerestory windows on the north side and will apply the paint to both sides soon. 
Scrappy, the Caboose: painting and staining is being done on the ceiling, floor and walls of the 40’ interior. 
The Sault Ste. Marie: Paul Voisin has restored and rebuilt, as necessary, a number of the 50 rectangular windows; and Bill Irrer has made the first of 8 oval stained glass windows. People are able to donate $400 to dedicate one of these windows in honor or in memory of someone.They need to send a check to Clinton County Arts Council, 215 N. Clinton Ave., St. Johns, MI 48879, along with a note telling who is to be memorialized, and the necessary contact information. 
Moving the cars: The cars are to be moved from the south side of the rail trail to the north side through a process of laying rails a long way to the east while angling north, and then back to the new placement. Mark Kalis and his crew will handle that. We are expecting that to take place in mid-July.
The Jerry Banks Layout: The three tracks are working well, and the last quadrant is being painted with the finishing touches.
Jul 16 2014

Historic Rail Cars to be Moved

Depot and Cars.jpg

These 3 historic rail cars are to be moved July 19 & 20 about 40 feet SIDEWAYS to sit on the north side of the upcoming C-I-S Rail Trail. All who would like to see this unusual engineering feat are welcome to drop down to the St. Johns Depot and watch the progress. This will be accomplished by experienced railroad professional with tracks - not cranes.