This railroad spike was found near the old Power Plant by CAP. As the college expanded in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, energy demands also increased. Particularly in the winter months, coal was needed to provide heat all over campus for stoves, furnaces, and boilers. To make this process easier, a railroad was built in 1900 by the Pere Marquette Railroad Company to transport coal from right into the heart of campus where the Boiler House was being built.
This railroad supplied over 3000 tons of coal to be transportetd in the first year alone, giving the campus heat and power and allowed for further and faster expansion of the institution. Although trains had been in the United States since the 1830s, the construction of a railroad on campus in 1900 was indicative of the expansion that was about to take place. Thus, this small railroad spike represents the dawn of a new era at the college.
Photogrammetry model created by Jack A. Biggs using Agisoft Metashape.
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