I don’t have a full post on the Sheboygan & Fond du Lac Railroad for this week, but I ran across the ad while looking for something else and thought I’d share it. Also, if you’re a local history buff, be aware the “Railroads” section of the Princeton quasquicentennial booklet of 1973 incorrectly calls it the Sheboygan & Fox River Railway.
As the notice above indicates, track reached the village limits on April 3 and then the Fox River on April 4. Freight started flowing shortly thereafter. The first passenger train chugged into town on May 22, 1872, but the “general good time” promised in the ad in April never materialized as no formal celebration was ever held to welcome the railroad. About 60 local residents took advantage of a free excursion to Sheboygan offered by the railroad in September.
With the arrival of passenger service, Princeton residents could board the train at 5:45 a.m. and be in Milwaukee before noon. The westbound train left Milwaukee at 3 p.m. and arrived in Princeton about 9. Fares were 75 cents from Princeton to Ripon, $1.65 to Fond du Lac and $4.50 to Milwaukee. They were reduced on Jan. 1, 1873, to 60 cents, $1.40 and $3.70, respectively.
Princeton remained the terminus of the railroad, which was acquired by the Chicago & North Western Railway, until 1901 when track was laid to Grand Rapids. The bridge there was not completed, however, so the final leg of the project was completed from Marshfield to the Rapids in 1902.