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Grandpa Chartier worked for the Detroit & Mackinac Railway Co. from 1917 at the age of 22 until his death in 1957 from cancer.

As children granny would tell us stories about him, she said that he was also a fisherman, I remember fishing nets and other equipment hanging in their garage. I asked my mother to clarify the fisherman aspect of his life, she mentioned that his brothers were professional fisherman and that during the depression he would work with them periodically. At that time he was only working every other week for the railroad, D&M was doing that to keep everyone employed and not eliminate any jobs, just cut everyone’s time in half. Fishing would also provide him with a personal supply of fish to take home that would be shared with other families in the neighborhood.

That’s my grandfather on the left in the photo above with a coworker.

He would ride a bike to work, not having a car at the time and she told me the story of a rainy day when he rode it to pick up my Aunt Betty from school so she wouldn’t have to walk in the rain, Betty was the envy of the other students who were walking.

Above is what’s written on the back of the photo on the left.

Granny told us stories of the great depression years when she would pack an extra sandwich in his lunch that he would share with someone who was “riding the rails”, and of the people who would pick up coal that had fallen from the train to heat their homes, he would purposely slow the train down  so they could climb on and help the coal fall off.

Included here are scans of items from his railroad employment, he uses the last name Shorkey, the Americanized version of Chartier.


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