This period also highlights the important theme of transportation in Vicksburg's history. The problem of transporting people and goods in 19th century Michigan was well known to pioneers, farmers, merchants, and travelers alike. Vicksburg was first connected to the expanding railroad network in 1870 with the arrival of the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. A year later the Northwestern Grand Trunk laid track through Vicksburg, connecting the city to both Port Huron and Chicago. While the junction of these two tracks certainly made Vicksburg more accessible, it remained a small community.
In the early days of the railroad, travelers often found themselves far from home after their business for the day had been conducted. As a result, they needed a place to stay the night. If we keep this in mind, it is less surprising that, by 1880, the small village of Vicksburg boasted three hotels. In that year the McElvain House, the Occidental House, and the Junction House all were in operation to serve the needs of the traveler.
In the years around the turn of the century, the citizens of Vicksburg busied themselves with the ever increasing demands of their growing village. The village government dealt with requests for street lights, fire protection, a night watch, public sanitation, and the dangerous state of disrepair of the village's plank sidewalks. An invaluable source for this type of information is the Vicksburg Commercial, which has been published continuously since 1879.