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Full text of "History of the Saginaw Valley, its resources, progress and business interests"

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HISTORY 






XT>-lp'j 



OF THE 



SAGINAW VALLEY, 



ITS RESOURCES, 



PROGBESS 



AND 



BUSINESS INTERESTS 



By TRUMAN B. FOX. 



EAST SAGINAW, MICH. 

DAILY COURIKR STEAM JOB PBINT, BTJOKHOUT BLOCK. 



1868. 



$) 



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ADVERTISEMENTS. 



REAL ESTATE DEALER 



FOR SALE:^ 

Farms, Farming Lands, Pine and Grass 
Lands, City Lots, Dwelling Houses, 

S^LT mm HILL L©)e^TIIOI^S, 

City of SaginaAAT, Mich. 



The World Renowned e 

sihtger^s improved 






Don't fail to examine it if you wish a 
Machine that will 

PEBFOBM ALL KINDS OF WOBK. 

■ I 

J. B. JACKSON, Agent. 

Jackson Block, No. 113, South Washington St., 

EAST SAGIJ^AW, MICH. 



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ADVERTISEMENTS. 



ORGANIZED 1851. CHARTER PERPETUAL. 

MASSACHUSETTS MUT^Al 

G 



SPBINaFIEIiD, lEASS. 

CASH ASSETS, - - - $3,000,000 

PTJItELY M:XJTXJAIL.. 

DIVIDENDS declared and paid Annually. All Profits equitably 
divided among the Policy Holders, increasing every year, until the Pol- 
icy eventually becomes a source of Income. 

All Folieies Non-Forfeitahle. 

Massachusetts protects by Law all Policies from forfeiture, if the. 

payments are not paid when due. No other State offers 

the same advantages and security. 



HENRY PLESSNER, 

Oonl Aeest fbr ICeUgan. 

205 GENESEE STREET, 

East Saginaw, Mich.. 

Local f Diatrict and Traveling Agents wanted. 



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ADVERTISEMENTS. 



X fM^ di jL> O ^L ^3l O lF ^ «|£^ r 

SAGINAW^ CITY. 

W. E. TAYLOR, - - PROPRIETOR. 

Street Cars pass the House every twenty minutes. 

AND DEALER IN 

READY-MADE CLOTHING. 

(OppcBite Irving Hall) 

EAST SAGIJ\rAW, - - MICHIGAJf. 



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ADVERTISEMENTS. 



PROPRIETORS OF 

'iiiir;iii'f|]| 

Located on Genesee Street near Chestnut. 

Beer supplied to the trade at liberal rates and warranted pure 
and wholesome. 

East Saginaw, Mich. 



WHOLESALE DEALERS IN 



Domestic Brandy, Catawba Wine, Rectified Whiskey &c. 

Brick Block, North Water Street, bet. Tuscola and Water Sts., 
EAST SAGINAW, MICH. 

ID. F O I?/I?/E! SO?, 

Manufacturer of and Dealer in 

%o0t^t ^^fft^t imt^tt, Sintiiti0S, 

AITS STZBTTEINa FESTAXKIKa TO TSZ TBASZ. 
IiE(P:fiIItIJTa QOJTE U(POJT SHOIi^r JTOTICE. 

iPartlcular Attention paid to the Manufacture of Sewed Work. 

Pendell Block, "Wasliiimtton St., East Saginaw- 

El. THULTOKCElie;, 

JSiisl SaffinajPy Mich. 

BlMll IM 114^ '1ST491, 

AND PROPRIETOR OF 

On the South Boundary of the City of East Saginaw. 



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ADVERTISEMENTS. 



3036:3IWX"XJS"X?'3F1. 



Room No. 11, 2d Story, Hess Block, first door North of Loveland's 

office. 
EAST SAGINAW, MICH. 

Every practical invention or improvement in the profession made use of as may be desired. 

BEOITT & PBRHKIMS, 

ATTORNEYS AT LAW 

AND COLLECTION OFFICE, 

iJ;^v.?"K7K'iKs, (But <^aflittaw, Ittiflt. 

Ca-JLI^/K/IGhTJES <Sc CO., 

MANUFACTURERS OF 

CHLORIDE CALCIUM, CHLORIDE MAGNESIOM 

MAaiTESIA AlTD BBOMINE, 
ZILWAUKEE, - - MICHIGAJ^, 

DEALER IN 



ALSO, 

Office, South East cor. Water and Tuscola Sts., 

EAST SAGINAW, MICH. 



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HISTORY 



OF THE 



SAGINAW VALLEY, 



ITS RESOURCES, 



PROGRESS 



AND 



BUSINESS INTERESTS 



By TRUMAN B. FOX. 



EAST SAGINAW, MICH. 

DAILY COURIER 8TBAM JOB PRINT, BUCKHOUT BLOCK. 



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j^ 






^ 



%m 



BAST SAGIKA"«r, MICMIGAM. 



PANTLIND, WITT & CO., Proprietors. 



This Honse has lately been refitted and refurnished, and is now 
complete in all of its appointments. 



AUFLE ACCOUMODATIOITS FOB 300 QUESTS. 



a^^ 



&^ 



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INTRODUOTOBY. 



Nearly eleven years ago the writer of this published a pamphlet 
entitled " A History of Saginaw County," in which he endeavored 
to give a correct idea of its growth, its advantages, resources, and 
early history. At that time the facilities for publishing such a work 
were meagre indeed, and although the materials were abundant, 
it required the most strenuous exertions and perseverance to collect 
them. The roads were almost impassable, the Flint and Saginaw 
plank road being the only plank, and in fact the only tolerable 
road of any kind in the Saginaw Valley. No bridges spanned the 
rivers ; no public stage routes, save that to Flint, afforded means of 
transit ; no railroads, with their thundering locomotives and roll- 
ing palaces, had as yet made our acquaintance; street railways 
were unheard of among us; horses and carriages were few and far 
between, there being in reality but little use for them — in short, 
although we prided ourselves on our greatness as a community, we 
literally possessed no facilities whatever when compared with those 
of to-day. Then it took at least three days to visit Detroit and 
return. Now we take a leisurely breakfast at home, step on board 
the cars, take our dinner either in Detroit, Jackson or Lansing, as 
we may elect, spend four or five hours in business or pleasure at 
these places, and then saunter at our leisure into a splendid car, 
and arrive home in. time to take tea with our families the same 
day. 

In reviewing the history of Saginaw, we shall endeavor to treat 
candidly and impartially the various subjects connected with it, 



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HISTORY OF TUK 8AUINAW VALLEY. 



simply stating facts and showing figures, and leaving all comments 
for the reader, except such as would naturally be expected in no- 
ticing the development and progress of matters pertaining to us. 
In speaking of Saginaw we do not propose to make any invidious 
distinction of localities, but shall speak of it as a unit, embracing 
all the business points on the river, as possessing an identity of in- 
terest, stimulated (mly by a laudable emulation, and together com- 
prising one great commercial community, characterized alike by 
thrift, enterprise and brotherly feeling. Of course, in a small 
pauiphlet, it cannot be expected that a full history of all the cities 
and towns in the valley will be given, but we will endeavor to give 
a synopsis of everything of importance, hoping thereby to furnish 
a work that can be sent by mail, and impart to those abi'oad some 
idea of Saffinaw. 



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THE FIRST SE1TLEMEN^I\ 



Up to the year 181S, the vast expanse of territory lying north 
-of Detroit, to the upper Lakes, was an unbroken forest. No hu- 
man footstep save that of the native red man, or an adventurous 
trapper had ever fallen," to disturb the mighty solitude that reigned 
.supreme through all that vast domain. Wild bands of Indians 
roamed unrestrained through the forests, and paddled their birclien 
canoes or bathed in our beautiful streams, as yet undisturbed by 
the inventions and innovations of the "pale face." But the fiat of 
civilization had gone forth, the red man's doom had been pro- 
nounced, and the hunting ground of his fathers was destined to 
pass into the hands of the white man, while he himself was to be- 
come a stranger in the land that gave him birth. 

During the winter of this year (1818) Orson Allen commenced 
the first white settlement north of Detroit, where Pontiac now 
stands, in Oakland county. Detroit was, of course, his nearest 
and only trading point. The following September, General Lewis 
Cass, then in the strength of his manhood, concluded a treaty with 
the Chippewa Indians at Saginaw, which secured to our govern- 
ment an extensive traci of territory, the southern boundary line of 
which passed near Springfield, Oakland county, running northeast 
to Lake Huron, west into Livingston county, then north to the 
headwaters of Thunder Bay river, including a portion if not all of 
the rich and fertile valley of the Saginaw. 

In the year 1822, two companies of United States troops were 
jstationed where Saginaw City now stands, for the purpose of pro- 
tecting the fur trade and watching the movements of the Indians, 
who at times were inclined to be mischievous. Prior to the arri- 
val of the troops, Saginaw had been used as an Indian trading 



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6 HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 

post, although by no regularly organized companies, but by indi- 
viduals, who bartered with the Indians for their furs, giving in ex- 
change whisky, blankets, beads, etc. We are indebted to Hon. Zina 
Pitcher of Detroit, for information concerning the arrival and de- 
parture of the troops, together with other interesting facts. He 
says: 

^^In June, 1822, having been appointed an asssistant surgeon in 
the army, I received an order to report to Major Daniel Baker, of 
the 3d Regiment of United States Infantry, then stationed at 
Green Bay, who, with two companies of that regiment, I was in- 
formed, would arrive at Saginaw about the 20th of July^the 
troops to reach their destination by transports from Fort Howard, 
and I by land from Detroit. Finding a guide in the person of the 
late Captain Knaggs of Detroit, who was then agent for the Sagi- 
naws, we made our way through the woods by an Indian trail, from 
Williams' Mill, situated where the village of Waterford, Oakland 
County, is now located, to the wigwam of the old chief Kish-ka-ko, 
on the east side of the Saginaw river, where we arrived just in 
time to see the troops pitching their tents on the other side. The 
vessels by which this detachment was transported from Green Bay, 
I believe did not enter the mouth of the river, the men composing 
it and their supplies being conveyed from the Saginaw Bay to the 
site selected for the post in small boats. The officers of this de- 
tachment were Major Daniel Baker, Capt. John Garland, Lieuts. 
Edward Brooks, Otis Wheeler and Henry Bainbridge. Capt. S. 
H. Webb, and Lieuts. Baker and Allen, the last two of whom 
died here, joined a short time afterwards. John Dean, (the sutler,) 
Thomas C. Sheldon, Chauncey Bush and Elliot Gray, also had 
business connections with the command of Major Baker. 

" These persons, with the enlisted men and the families of Baker 
Garland and Brooks, constituted the little military colony which 
laid the foundation of Saginaw City. Joseph Campau and family, 
Antoine Campau, Archibald Lyons, (Indian interpreter,) Mr. Pro. 
vensal, (Indian blacksmith,) Mr. Corben, and a Frenchman whose 
name I have forgotten, (Indian farmer) made up the civil commu- 



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HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 



nity. The road from Saginaw to Smith's trading house on Flint 
river, where Flint city now stands, was cut in the winter of 1822-3, 
by a party of soldiers commanded by Lieuts. Brooks and Bain- 
bridge, the latter of whom served his country honorably from that 
time, including the Mexican war, and lost his life a few years since 
in the Gulf of Mexico, by the burning of a steamer on which he 
was a passenger. 

"The winter of 1822-3 was very cold, and much snow fell. 
When spring came on, the rapid solution of it caused a great flood 
in the Tittabawassee and other tributaries of the Saginaw, so that 
most of the prairie between the post and Green Point was under 
water. The succeeding summer was very warm, and the troops 
being unused to the climate, became sickly as early as July, when, 
late the following fall, they abandoned the fort and moved to De- 
troit by water, in two schooners, one commanded by Capt. Keith 
and the other by Capt. Walker. Before the military occupancy of 
the Saginaw river, a Mr. Hudson had made an attempt to evangel- ' 
ize the Saginaws, but meeting with no success, he had left the 
place before the troops under the command of Baker arrived, 
leaving behind an unfinished house on the east side of the river, 
some distance below the old Saginaw City ferry." 

It would seem that when the treaty was made with the Saginaw 
Indians, they were to have a blacksmith and a missionary sent to 
them. Accordingly Mr. Hudson came among them in the latter 
capacity. The probabilities are that this man of God's influence 
with them, when brought to bear with the villainous whisky of 
the trader, had but little weight, and they therefore being annoyed 
at the restrictions which the Missionary's presence placed upon 
them, sent back word to Washington t}iat they had too much mis- 
sionary, and wanted to swap him ofl" for another blacksmith. 
Grieved in spirit at the perverseness of the "untutored Indian," 
the good man packed up his few effects, and turned his back for- 
ever upon the home of the Saginaws. 

Among those who died at the fort were a brother and son-in-law 
of Major Baker, the commandant. This event so disheartened the 



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8 HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 

Major, together with the many hardships and privations to whichi 
the troops were subjected, that he reported to the Department that 
the climate was so unhealthy that "nothing but Indians, muskrats^ 
and bullfrogs could possibly subsist here." Nor was it strange 
that himself and those under his command should yield to the dis- 
couragements of the times, for here they were far from their homes,, 
in the midst of a howling wilderness, surrounded by untamed sav- 
ages, whose mighty whoopings and infernal pow wow orgies were 
more appalling than even the cries of the wild beasts, and exposed 
to the extremes of a climate to which they were unused. No won- 
der, therefore, that the order for their removal was hailed with de- 
light by the poor troops. 

In the fall of 1824, the American Fur Company established a 
trading post at Saginaw, taking partial possession of the block 
houses which were erected in and about the stockade used by the 
troops. William McDonald, a stirring, whole-souled Scotchman, 
had the management of the Company's affairs. The fort, or stock- 
ade, rather, was constructed upon the brow of the hill, near where 
the Taylor house stands, and commanded a view of the river from 
Green Point to some distance below, where it was lost sight of in 
the wild, unbroken forests that skirted it upon either side. 

A few years after, the Hon. Gardner D. Williams purchased the 
interests of the American Fur Company here, and established him- 
self as an Indian trader. There were here, then, besides himself) 
the families of Louis Campau and John B. Cushway. At that 
time (18*27) but two white families resided between Waterford, 
eight miles north of Pontiac, and Saginaw, and these belonged to 
Rufus W. Stevens and his father, who lived at Grand Blanc, Gen- 
essee county. Aside from the small " clearings" of these two fam- 
ilies, the whole tract of territory lying between the above named 
points was one unbroken wilderness. In my sketch of Saginaw 
City, I shall endeavor to resume its early history, and condense it 
to the present time. 

The Saginaw Indians at that time were composed of Chippewas, 
mostly, although occasionally an Ottawa half-breed might have 



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HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW TALLBT. 



been found among them; and they were governed by a ohief (a 
usurper in power) named Klish-karko, a miserable tyrant, a vil- 
lianous coward and a drunken sot. The early settlers of Oakland 
county were very much annoyed by this chief and his cowardly 
band, as they passed through that section of the country, on their 
way to Maiden, to receive their annual presents fropi the British 
Government. Kish-ka-ko was in the habit of traveling with thirty 
or forty compaions whom he called his warriors, and taking advan- 
tage of the sparseness of the settlements upon the borders, would 
levy contributions upon the poor settlers, who could ill afford to 
fiimish supplies to others, having all they could do to get along 
themselves. If the old chief's demands were not speedily com- 
plied with, he would take what he wanted by main force, such as 
cattle, hogs, grain, etc., thus subjecting the settlers to great suffer- 
ing and continual fear. Upon one occasion, after his arrival in 
Detroit, which happened a few days before pajpnent day, his men 
being hungry, he applied to the authorities for food, saying, "un- 
less my young men get something to eat, it will be impossible for 
me to restrain them from robbing the settlers along the route." 
"Sir," returned Gen. Lewis Cass, "if your young men commit 
any more depredations, upon the settlers, I will send my young 
men to punish them!" 

Eish-ka-ko at length came to his end in a manner strikingly in 
keeping with his wicked and cowardly career. One day while en- 
camped at a place a little above Detroit, known as the Chein 
Farm, he got into a drunken row and killed an Indian. He was 
arrested by the civil authorities, and imprisoned in the old Detroit 
jail, where he remained several months. Feeling assured from his 
past conduct that he need expect no mercy or lenity from the 
hands of those he had so often outraged, he anticipated the law by 
taking poison supposed to have been provided for him by his 
squaws. 

His successor was 0-ge-maw-geg-a-too, which signifies the Chief 
Speaker. He was in every respect antipodal to Kish-ka-ko, being 
a high-minded and an honorable man, a great favorite with the 



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10 HISTORY OP THB SAGINAW VALLEY. 

whites and an eloquent speaker, but at times much giyen to dissi- 
pation. He was not the head chief by birth, but merely by pro- 
motion or appointment, on account of the loftiness of his style, the 
beauty of his expression, and his powerful and commanding elo- 
quence, which always carried conviction with it. The chief proper 
was Mia-co-be-na-sa, signifying the Red Bird* He was a quiet, 
unassuming man, possessing no desire whatever for fame — ^no aspi- 
rations after greatness. Only give him his pipe and tobacco pouch 
well filled, and place by his side a jug of fire water, and he cared 
but little if anything about affairs of Indian state. He had, how- 
ever, been considerable of a warrior in his day, but the fire of 
youth had passed away, and with it all the energies and ambitions 
of a youthful spirit. It is a melancholy and lamentable fact that 
as the country becomes settled by the whites, the native energy 
and spirit of the red man grows less and droops, for he beholds the 
broad domains wmch his fathers possessed, in the hands of the pale 
face — ^he sees the graves of the chosen of his race desecrated by 
iStrangers, and the cherished hunting grounds which were his own 
melting away before the sun of civilization. As society advances, 
the red man recedes and degenerates, and one would hardly recog- 
nize in the miserable, filthy wretch that brings berries, baskets and 
muskrat skins into our cities and towns to exchange them for food 
and whisky to-day, the once noble and lordly possessor of the 
soil. 

Although many other chiefs besides those mentioned by us, ruled 
their tribes in the Saginaw country, at various times since the 
opening of our history, the above were really the only ones of any 
note. Old Knock-a-chick-a-ma is at present chief of the fragmen- 
tary tribes that roam through the valley. He is a venerable and 
patriarchal-looking Indian, possessing not a little of the dignity of 
his forefathers, and intensely fond of the scoot-a-wah-boo of the 
pale face, which he imbibes with true Indian stoicism. 

During the summer of 18S7, the small pox broke out among the 
: Saginaw Indians, making fearful havoc among them and taking off 
half if not two-thirds of their number to the hunting grounds of 



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HI8T0BY OF THE SAGINAW T ALLEY. , 11 

the Great Spirit. Their bloated corpses were found lying in every 
direction; now in thickets, where the poor creatures had crawled 
to shield them from the rays of the burning sun; now half immers- 
ed in the bayous or floating down the rivers into which they had 
fallen in their feeble endeavors to cool the dreadful fever which 
was consuming them. Not a single white person in the whole val- 
ley was attacked with this fearful disease — a circumstance which 
led the Indians to believe that the Great Spirit was punishing the 
children for some outrageous sin committed by the fathers gene- 
rations before. 

The whole number of Indians in the Saginaw Valley at present, 
cannot exceed five hundred souls. A fevr are engaged in farming, 
but the majority lead a desultory, roaming life, without any appa- 
rent aim or object in view. 

Although it would be no difficult matter to point out to the 
stranger the location of Saginaw as it appears on the map, with its 
beautiful rivers, and the little dots representing its cities and vil- 
lages, it would be a thankless task to attempt by maps, or even 
words, to convey to his mind any adequate idea of the growth, 
progress and importance of the Saginaw Valley. By reference to 
the map of Michigan, the reader will observe that the Saginaw 
country occupies nearly a central position in the State, and is not, 
as many have idly imagined, in an extreme northern latitude, and 
almost beyond the reach of civilization. Indeed, but a few years 
ago, this portion of the State was consid^ed almost unapproach- 
able, and even after getting here, not fit to locate upon. 

The Saginaw Valley proper is comprised of the counties of Sag* 
inaw and Bay, although in a general sense a portion of the coun- 
ties of Tuscola and Midland, including a goodly stretch of the Bay 
shore, are usually embraced in the term. We intend, however, to 
treat more particularly upon the Saginaw Valley proper, and 
should space permit, allude briefly to those other counties, so far as 
their interests are identifled with ours. There are in Saginaw and 
Bay counties about 650,000 acres, a small portion of which have 
been set down in the field notes as swamp lands. Actual survey 
and a looking up of these lands have proven that a great portion 



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12 HISTORY OF THE SAOINAW YALLET. 

of them marked thus are among the finest farming lands in Mich- 
igan, susceptible of the highest state of culture. Many farms 
thus entered haYe not the least appearance of swamp lands about 
them, but, on the other hand, contain splendid uplands, well tim- 
bered with beach, maple and oak. There are, it is true, in the 
Yicinity of the Bay, and along some of the riYcrs, some wet prairie 
lands, which, with but few exceptions, are far from being useless? 
for they furnish thousands of tons of Yery good hay annually, 
which often brings in the market, from eight to ten dollars a ton. 

FACE OF THE COUNTRY — SOIL. 

The impression seems to haYe gone forth that the face of the 
country is low and monotonous, and unrelicYed by hill, or dale, or 
upland. Now in the immediate Yicinity of some of the riYers and 
the bay, this may to a certain extent be true; but away from these 
there are to be found, in localities all OYor the Saginaw country, 
beautiful rolling lands and splendid ridges, coYcred with a luxu- 
riant growth of cYcry species of timber peculiar to this latitude. 
The bottom lands that abound in the Saginaws must not be con- 
founded with the wet prairie that skirts Bome of our streams. 
While the latter is usually part and parcel, so to speak, of the 
stream itself, being coYcred with wild rice or tall, rank grass and 
reeds, and is submerged a good portion of the season, acting in 
sympathy with the natural rise and fall of the streams, being about 
upon a IcYcl with them, the former also skirt the riYers and water 
courses, but lie scYcral feet aboYe the ordinary water mark, and in 
their natiYC state are lined with a rich growth of walnut, linden, 
soft maple and wild plums. These trees are usually festooned with 
grf^ Yines, which attain to immense size and produce abundant 
fruit. The soil is composed of the richest alluYial formation. 
These lands, of course, are subject to inundation, usually in the 
early spring, the waters receding in time for the farmer to prepare 
the soil for seed. The strength of this soil is wonderful, and the 
crops it produces, particularly cereals, are remuneratiYC in the 
highest degree. The bottoms also afford the best meadow lands in 
the world, yielding not less than two tons of hay to the acre. The 



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HISTORT OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 13 

advantage these lands possess over the rolling or higher lauds is) 

they seldom if ever suffer from a drouth. During the present almost 

unparallded hot season for this region, we have taken occasion 

to observe the effects of the drouth in various localities in the val- 
ley. While com was literally rolling together like a scroll, and 
vegetation generally upon the more elevated farms suffered severe- 
ly, those crops which grew on the bottom lands looked fresh, vig- 
orous, and full of vitality. Another error in regard to the Sagi- 
naw lands seems to have crept into the minds of casual visitors to 
the valley. Because large tracts in different portions of Saginaw 
and Bay counties are level and seemingly monotonous, and at cer- 
tain seasons <^ the year, especially late hi the fall and in early 
spring, wet and forbidding, they have been pronounced by casual 
visitors wholly unfit for cultivation, because in their minds they 
could not be drained, and thus warmed into life and usefulness. 
That such an impression should have been received at first sight, 
without a knowledge of facts, is not strange, but we are prepared to 
prove that there is not an acre of land in the SaginaW Valley, with 
the exception, it is true, of the wet prairie bordering on the streams, 
but that can be drained and rendered susceptible of a high state 
of cultivation, no matter how apparently unredeemable said land 
may have appeared. Take, for instance, the low, wet bayou land 
thai spread over a large tract of Ihe city of East Saginaw but a 
year or two ago. This was known to be a perfect quagmire — the 
abode of innumerable reptiles, and from whose bosom noxious va- 
pors and miasmas were constantly arising, to the detriment of good 
health and comfort. Many supposed there was no remedy for it, 
as the level condition of the country would not admit of drainage, 
so for years it remained a perfect nuisance and a stench in the nos- 
trils of decency. After awhile some long-headed individual dis- 
covered that this quagmire was located several feet above the level 
of the river. Measures were at once adopted by our city fathers, 
to have it drained, and a brick sewer was accordingly built, leading 
to the river, at a cost of about $16,000. To-day the spot where 
this quagmire was, is perfectly dry, and a portion of it covered 



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14 HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW T ALLEY. 

with buildings and fine gardens. So, also, have we seen many other 
parcels of land in the vicinity of our towns which were considered 
about worthless on account of their spongy proclivities, redeemed 
and made valuable by si proper system of drainage. In this con- 
nection it is gratifying to know that a thorough system of ditching 
and drainage has been adopted in this county, and commissioners 
have been at work for some time in opening long lines of ditches, 
thus affording facilities for draining land& in every portion of the . 
country. 

RIVERS. 

Nature has furnished the Saginaw country with an abundance of 
drains and irrigators in the way of rivers, there being not less than 
ten dignified with the name, besides a number of »nall streams. 

The Saginaw Bivsr divides the counties of Saginaw and Bay 
nearly east and west, and is erne of the largest and most beautiful 
streams in the State. It is navigable for first class steamers and 
vessels, aad is about twenty-five miles in length, being formed by 
the Cass from the east, the Flint and Shiawassee from the south, 
and the Tittabawassee from the northwest. It pursues a north- 
easterly course, and empties into the head of Saginaw Bay. It 
varies in depth from fifteen to twenty feet, and its ayerftge width 
is about 240 yards. The banks of th^ river in some places are 
quite bold, while in others they are low and skirted with wet prai- 
rie. One peculiarity of the Saginaw river and its tributaries, is 
observable in the numerous coves or bayous which diverge from 
them, in many instances extending miles into the country, and are 
often deeper than the rivers themselves. A few years ago, before 
these bayous were used by boom companies and lumber and salt 
manufacturers, they were bordered with a plentiful growth of wild 
rice, and were consequently ^e resort of all kinds of aquatic fowls, 
especially ducks, which during the fall of the year, when the rice 
was ripe, came hither in ^^ clouds,^' to fatten upon it, thus affording 
rare sport for gentlemen of leisure. This river, during the early 
spring, is subject to inundation, caused by the rapid solution of the 
ice in the upper streams, and the great masses of snow that accu- 



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HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 15 

mulate in the dark forests of pine and hemlock that lie along their 

banks. To this river as a basis, the rich and fertile valley of the 
Saginaw is indebted for its wealth, its wonderful growth and prosf 
perity. While it serves as an outlet for a vast expanse of country 
above and around us, millions of logs are annually floated down it, 
and converted into lumber by the almost innumerable mills that 
line its shores its entire length. And its commerce, which but a 
few short years ago was confined to the transactions of a limited 
number of small steamboats and vessels, has now swelled to enor- 
mous proportions. Vessels load at our docks with products of the 
valley, which they ship, without interruption, directly to European 
ports, and lines of first class steamboats bring us into direct com- 
munication with points which until recently were considered almost 
as the antipodes. The first dock erected on this river was built at 
Saginaw City, about the year 1836, in connection with an extensive 
warehouse, now used as a shook factory, by Mr. D. B. Ketchem. 
To^ay it would be a difficult task to number the docks and 
wharves that line the Saginaw river, connected with warehouses, 
mills, salt works, etc. Th« original Indian name of this river was 
Sac-haw-ning, signifying the place or home of the Sacs, as this na- 
tion was supposed to have been the early possessors of the valley. 
We shall have occasion to speak of this river again. 

TiTTABAWASSEE BiVEB — Thls is a magnificent stream, rising in 
the northern portion of the State, pursuing a southeasterly course, 
and emptying into the Saginaw. Its depth is from four to ten 
feet, and its width about fifty yards. It is navigable for small 
steamboats to Midland City, a flourishing village about thirty miles 
from its mouth. This river passes through some of the finest . 
farming lands in the State, and the banks, in many places, rise 
from ten to twenty-five feet above the level of the stream. Nothing 
can exceed the beauty and romantic appearance of the Tittabawas- 
see during the summer season. The high banks, covered with ver- 
dure, are crowned with rich forests of maple, elm and butternut, 
whose foliage is often festooned with the twining grape and ivy, 
giving them a singularly beautiful and attractive appearance, as 



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16 HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW TALLEY. 

they overhang the bright river and mirror themselves upon its 
laughing surface. Some rich bottom lands are found skirting this 
stream, which equal if not exceed, in strength Jind durability of soil, 
the far-famed valley of Genessee, in the State of New York. All 
along this river may be seen finely cultivated farms^ with good or- 
chards, substantial dwellings, and well stocked. Indeed, the oldest 
farms in Saginaw county are located upon the banks of this stream, 
some of which produce all kinds of fruit in abundance. At the 
county agricultural fairs held in East Saginaw, the samples of 
fruits of almost every variety and species, together with vegetables 
and grains raised here, astonished visitors from other States and 
counties, by their wonderful perfection and superior excellence. 
Upon the banks of this river may also be found, in exhaustless 
quantities, after removing the rich soil, deposites of brick clay. A 
large number of brick yards have been in active operation here, 
for several years, and the brick manufactured, with all the modern 
improvements, are exceeded in no other locality. This river is the 
only lumber thoroughfare for the v«8t region of pine that lies 
above, embracing an area of upward of one hundred miles in ex- 
tent. The number of feet of pine logs rafted out of this stream 
during the year 1866, was 186,000,000. The Tittabawassee Boom 
Company, which was organized in 1864, has about thirteen miles of 
booms, and employs during the active season, between 200 and 300 
men, besides expending for rope alone, for rafting purposes, about 
$20,000. 

Cass Kiver. — This river rises in Sanilac county, pursues a 
southwesterly direction, and empties into the Saginaw about three 
miles above Saginaw City. Its banks in some places are low, 
while in others they are bold. Eich bottom lands are found in its 
vicinity, as well as heavy timber, and some oak openings. This 
river passes through some of the most charming and beautiful 
country in the world, and affords an outlet for millions of feet of 
pine lumber every year, heavy forests of which skirt it for many 
miles. During the year 1867, the Huron Log Boom Company 
rafted out about 72,000,000 feet of pine logs. A number of flour- 



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HlfiTOET OP THS SAftUlAW TAIXXT. l^ 

ishing Tillages are located upon its banks, together with many fine* 
ly cnltivated farms. The farming lands all along this river are 
superior, and great inducements are held ont to actual settlers, who 
are not slow in taking advantage of them. In 1837, Mr. E. W. 
Perry, now of this city, c^mimenced clearing the floodwood firom 
this river, which to him appeared to have been the accumulation of 
ages. It was, however, an absolute necessity, as he had recently 
erected a sawmill in Tuscola county, upon Perry Creek, near Cass 
river, and having made a contract to furnish lumber to the compa- 
ny engaged in building the Webster House, in Saginaw City, there 
was no other possible means of delivering the lumber but through 
the medium of this stream. After months of toil, the Herculean 
task of clearing out the obstructions was accomplished, although 
at the expense of health, and quite a fortune expended by Mr. 
Perry firom his own means. 

The original name of this river was Onottowaysebewing, signify- 
ing the hcmie of the Onottoways, who resided upon its banks long 
years ago. 

Flint River. — This river, whose Indian name is Pe-wa-ne-go- 
ink-sebe, takes its rise in the southeastern comer of Lapeer county, 
pursues first a northwesterly, then a southwesterly course through 
part of the county, after which it changes to a northwesterly 
course, fmd empties into the Saginaw river a few miles above East 
Saginaw. Its banks, not unlike those of the other rivers, vary in 
height, there being some low places and bottom lands skirting it, 
highly enriched by inundation. Pine in abundance is found in the 
vicinity of this river, although many miles above. In 1865, 30,- 
000,000 feet of pine logs were rafted out, while in 1867, there 
were not 6,000,000, all told, boomed there. This falling oflf is not. 
attributed to the particular decrease of pine along this river, but 
to the increase of mills near its headwaters, which very naturally 
cut off the great supplies that formerly were rafted into the Sagi- 
naw. There are splendid farming lands all along the route of this 
river, and many improved and well stocked farms show that this 



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18 HISTOBT OF THE 8A0INAW TALLXT. 

fact has not been overlooked by the shrewd seekers after homes 
and comforts. 

Shiawassee Biyeb. — This is a large tributary of the Saginaw, 
and a rapid, beautiful stream. It rbes in the interior of Living- 
ston and Oakland counties, pursues a meandering, northwesterly 
course through the county of Shiawassee, and joins the Flint to 
help form the Saginaw, a few miles above Saginaw City. Near its 
mouth it is low and marshy, but as you advance up the stream, the 
aspect changes, and farming lands with improved farms appear, to 
gladden the eye. The soil is exceeding fertile, being in many pla- 
ces of alluvial formation. An excellent quality of stone coal is 
found along this stream, which bids fair to become a source of con* 
siderable profit to those engaged in exhuming it. This river re- 
tains its original name, which signifies beautiful or delightful. 

Bad Biver rises near the southern limits of Saginaw County, 
pursues a northerly course, and empties into the Hare river proper, 
a tributary of the Shiawassee. The lands bordering this stream 
are rich bottoms, generally, and make good farms. This river also 
affords an outlet for millions of feet of pine logs, which are cut 
upon it and its tributaries. In the year 1866, not far from 28,- 
000,000 of feet were rafted down by the Bad Biver Boom Com- 
pany. 

Mighesbbbe. — This is a small stream originating in the western 
part of Saginaw county, and emptying into the Saginaw river about 
two miles above the mouth of the Flint. Good farming lands 
4irbound in thb vicinity, some of which are being improved. 

MiSHTEOATOOK — This Stream rises in the southern part of Gen- 
^essee and Shiawassee counties, pursues a northerly course, and 
flows into the Flint river three miles above its mouth. It is about 
forty miles in length, and runs nearly midway between the Shia- 
wassee and Flint, until it discharges into the latter. Some splen- 
did farmmg lands and fine timber are found in the neighborhood of 
this stream. 

Kaw-kaw-lin Bivee. — This rises in Arenac and Midland coun- 
ties, pursues a southeasterly course through Midland and Bay 



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HISTORY OF THB SAGINAW TALLSY. 19 

counties, then northeast into Midland again, thence east, and emp- 
ties into the southwestern extremity of Saginaw Bay, not far from 
the mouth of Saginaw river. The banks of this stream are low in 
many places, the soil being rich and productive, and susceptible of 
high cultivation. About two miles from its mouth, a few years 
ago, there was an Indian village and mission, but it was vacated by 
the Indians, who left to take possession of lands donated farther 
west, by the Government. Quite extensive lumbering operations 
are now being carried on here, by Messrs. Ballon & Kaiser, and 
other parties. About 14,000,000 feet of logs were got out here by 
these parties, and by them converted into lumber, 

Harb Biveb, to which Bad river is tributary, empties into the 
Shiawassee twelve miles above Saginaw City. It passes through 
occasional groves of good timber, and the soil along its banks ia* 
finely adapted to farming purposes, being rich and durable. 

In addition to the above are a number of smaller streams^ 
among which are the Ma*qua-na-ka-see, or Bear Greek, Che-boy- 
gun. Zaw-wis-hawHaing, or place for bass, and Squy-haw-ning, or 
last place, so called because near its mouth is an island supposed to 
have been the place where the last or decisive battle was fought 
between the Sacs and Chippewas, in which the destiny of the for- 
mer tribe was decided, they being completely routed and nearly 
annihilated. The first of these streams rises in Tuscola county 
and empties into the southeastern extremity of Saginaw Bay* 
The second also rises in the same county, and flows northwesterly 
into the Saginaw river, about eight miles from the Bay. The 
third rises in the northern part of Bay county, flowing into the 
Saginaw river about seven miles from the Bay. The fourth origi- 
nates in the northwestern part of Bay county, flowing east into the 
Saginaw river, about six miles from its mouth. These streams are 
mostly skirted with prairie and bottom lands, with an occasional 
show of timber. Upon some of these streams may be found culti> 
vated farms, and upon the Cheboygan an Indian village containing 
about fifteen families, is located. 



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^ HISTORY OP THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 

TIMTBER. 

The Saginaw Valley furnishes an, excellent and valuable variety 
of timber, including oak, beech, maple, (hard and soft,) hickory, 
blackwalnut, butternut, cherry, basswood, ash,. elm, pine and hem- 
look. The oak found here is excelled by none in the Union in 
point of toughness, flexibility, elasticity and durability, which pro- 
perties render it invaluable for ship and steamboat building. It 
has been pronounced by competent judges, to be equal to the old 
English ship oak, and superior to itnost of the oak found elsewhere 
in the United States, it having been thoroughly tested by ship- 
builders here, who stand ready to vouch for the truth of the state- 
ment. This oak is found in large quantities throughout the valley. 
There are, however, several kinds of oak here, viz., white or up- 
land, black, red, yellow, swamp, and some scrub oak. The white 
and swamp oak are used for shipbuilding and staves. The manu- 
facture of all kinds of staves is carried on in the valley upon an 
extensive scale. Of this branch of industry we shall have occa- 
sion to speak again. It is confidently affirmed by those well 
informed upon the subject, that there is enough stave oak in the 
valley, notwithstanding the great inroads made upon it, to fiimish 
An extensive trade in that direction for many years to come. The 
T}asswood, or linn, which is found in abundance, is discovered to "be 
of great utility in ship building, and many other kinds of business 
where flexible lumber is required. The pine, of which we shall 
.speak in another place, aside from the lumber it yields, furnishes 
43uperb spars for vessels. The hard or sugar maple is a beautiful 
tree, and the pride and glory of an American forest. It is not 
Alone its beauty and magnificence that render it an object of pride, 
but the happy combination of the useful and ornamental which it 
possesses. While this tree is eagerly sought after for its shade, 
timber, lumber, and the superior firewood it makes, it is highly 
valuable on account of the immense quantity of excellent sugar 
which is annually manufactured from the rich saccharine sap that 
flows from it during the spring months. The soil in which the 
maple is f(5und, and also beech, is always considered of a superior 



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HI8T0BT Of THB £A61NAW YALLEY. 21 

qmlitj) being generally of a dark, sandy loam, varying from four- 
teen inches to two feet in depth, of a rich alluvial formation, cov- 
ering a substratum of clay, and almost entirely free from stones* 
The battemut and soft maple are usually found upon the rich bot- 
tom lands that skirt the streams, while the blackwalnut, hickory 
and cherry, all of which are valuable, grow more abundantly upon 
the lands farther back, or uplands. A few oak openings are found 
in some portions of the valley, the soil of which, although not pos- 
sessing the strength and durability of the timbered land, is finely 
adapted to agricultural purposes. 

The f(dlowing able and interesting article relating to the lumber 
regions of Michigan, written by Rev. C. H. Brigham of Ann Ar- 
bor, was handed us, with a request to insert it in our pamphlet. 
We do so with pleasure, as it covers a portion of the ground pro- 
posed by us in the original plan of our work. We commence with 

THE PINS LANDS OV MICHIGAN. 

The "lumber region" is the region in which the pine grows in 
soffici^Qt quantities and of suitable size for use in the saw mills. 
There may be a pine country which is not really a lumber country, 
as, for instance, the old colony of Massachusetts. It is not neces- 
sary, to make a good lumber region, that the pine should be the 
exclusive growth, or that it shoiud grow in large, compact masses. 
The best pine is found among trees of firmer grain. The pineries 
of Michigan differ h^om those of the Eastern States, in being less 
homogenous. On the best pine lands the quantity of hard wood is 
often considerably greater than that of pine. The lumberman 
picks his trees from the mass, and after he has cut all the lumber 
from a tract, an unpracticed eye might not see that anything of im- 
portance had been taken ofF from it. If the settler does not come 
after him with axe and fire, the breach in a little time will seem to 
be healed, though the pine does not grow again. Though the 
atumps and roots of the pines are slow to decay, and vex the far- 
mer by their obstinate vitality, they send up no fresh shoots. 

VAEIETIES OF PINE. 

The pine which grows in this lumber region is of excellent 
quality, free from defects, and fit for all the uses to which that wood 
is put. There are three varieties: the tough, straight-grained 
wood, from which the best boards are made; the "sap," or sapling 
pine, used for fences, floors, and work in which nice finish is not re- 
quired J and the Norway pine, which supplies a wood that decays 



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22 BISTORT OF THE SAGINAW TALLBT. 

slowly, and is used for bridges, docks, and yehieles of Tarioii» 
kinds. All these varieties are easily wroi^ht, and the Cork and 
Norway pine are wholly free h^om pitch. The Cork pine trees are 
often found of a very large size. It is not uncommon to get per- 
fectly straight stems 80 and 100 feet in height, measuring six feet 
in diameter at the base. Logs less than three feet in diameter are 
counted "under size'^ by many lumbermen. There is comparative- 
ly little wood of irregular or inferior growth, and the lumberman 
has much less to reject as not worth cutting, than in the Eastern 
forests, 

FOBEST LIFE. 

Year by year, as the wood is cut off, the lumberman has to go 
farther in from the main stream, and the log has a longer joumej 
to make before it gets to the mill. The £st party of woodmen 
usually go out in November; as soon as the ground begins to freeze^ 
they select a place for their camp as nearly as possible m the centre 
of the "lot" which they are to work upon, taking care to get a dry 
soil in the neighborhood of some spring or brook; they bmld a log 
house, and cut a road to the nearest stream, on which the logs must 
be floated down. The log houses are large enough to accommodate 
from twenty to fifty persons. In the centre a raised fireplace is 
built, directly under the apex of the roof, and the only chimney is 
a tunnel above this fireplace. The work of wood-cuttm£ begins as 
soon as the road is finisned and the ground becomes hara enough to 
haul the logs-*usually early in December — and it is continued un- 
til the stream breaks up in the spring. The daily woodnshopping 
begins with the earl^ morning, and is kept up as long as there is 
light. In the evemngs the woodmen sit around their fire, play 
cards, smoke their pipes, tell stories, and sometimes get in> rude 
dances. There is very little drinking among them during the sea- 
scm of work in the woods. Sutlers are not allowed upon the 
premises, and the men have usually no money to buy liquor. They 
are paid by the day, and supplied with suitable food by their em» 
ployers. Fork and beans, dried fish, bread and tea, are the most 
approved articles of diet. Coffee is not generally provided, and 
the delicacies consist chiefly in the wild game which Uie woodmen 
themselves may chance to catch. There is plenty of this to be 
had, if there were time to take it, for the woods are still full of 
squirrels, rabbits, coons, deer, and black bears, whose flesh is not 
unpalatable; the streams, too, are full of fish. But the men are 
too busy in their craft to do much fishing or hunting, and are con- 
tent with their simple but nourishing regular fare. In addition to 
their "nourishment," they get, on an average, about $1 per day for 
their labor. The whole gain of a lumberman in his winter's work 
is about $100, which a new suit of clothes and a few weeks of sport 
in the spring generally exhaust. The life of lumbermen is like 



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HI8T0BT Of THS 8A0INAW YALLBT. 23 

that of sailors, and very few lay up the fruits of their toil. In 
character, the men are quite 83 good as the average of those who 
lead a roring life. A large number of them work in the mills in 
^e summer season. Some go on farther west, and others go home 
to their friends in Canada or Maine. Comparatively few of the 
^wood-choppers are Germans or Irishmen, though there are parties 
of both these races. They are gregarious in their habits. In cut- 
ting trees, they go in pairs, and very few of them are willing to 
lire in separate huts, or away from the camp. They sleep along 
the sloping side of the house, with their feet inward, toward the 
central fire, which is kept burning all night. They dispense with 
prayers and preaching, and make uttle account of Sunday. A few 
naye books, but the taste for reading is not general. Mending 
clothes and sharpening axes, with such amusements as we have 
mentioned, fill the spare time. Their occupation is healthy and 
dieerfrd. The stock of medicines rarely needs to be replenished, 
and there is not much for a physician to do in their strong-armed 
company. 

THB LUMBER WEALTH OF MICHIGAN. 

The statistics of the Lower Peninsula, thus far giyen, are 
enough to show what maryelous wealth Michigan has in her forests, 
and to account for the fact that her supply is now the main reliance 
of all the Northern States, exceeding all that Maine and Canada 
baye to riye. All the markets of the West, and most of the mar- 
kets of the East, now ret their lumber from Michigan. Lumber 
vessels ply from the Sagmaw riyer to all ports on the Lakes from 
<3hicago to Buffalo, and eyen go through the Welland Canal to the 
St. Lawrence riyer. Michigan lumber is carried through the 
wroods of Canada to its market. It is sent across the plains to St. 
Louis and Cincinnati, and down the Mississippi. It is sent across 
the mountains to Philadelphia and Baltimore. It is sold on the 
dseaboard and in the interior — transported by canal and by railway. 
Probably more than half the houses built in the Northern States 
in the last year, used the growth of Michigan forests in their con- 
struction. Of the 400,000,000 feet of lumber received at Albany 
by the canal, a very large part came from Michigan. The tonnage 
of yesseb engaged in this traffic is larger than the tonnage of many 
cf the commercial cities. Probably as many vessels pass up and 
down the St. Clair river daily, in the height of the lumber season, 
as pass by Boston Light. In the Saginaw river itself, in the last 
year, twenty-one vessels were built, two of which were barks, and 
four propellers. Of course the chief markets are the six leading 
Lake cities — Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland and 
Buffalo. From these points the lumber is distributed to the prin- 
cipal cities of the West and East. Not unfrequently, however, it 
is sent on an ocean voyage. The Detroit Post gives a list of 



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24 HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLBY. 

twenty-two lumber vessels, which cleared in a single year for foreign 
ports — Liverpool, London, Glaagow, Cork, Hamburg, Calais and 
Cadiz. The traffic shows no sign of falling off, and a comparison 
of years shows it steadily increasing. A ship canal round Niagara 
Falls would assist the lumber interest hardly less than the grain 
growing interest of the West. 

THE RAPID EXHAUSTION 07 TIMBER. 

It is common to speak of the pine lands of Michigan as "inex- 
haustible." We hear of the supply that may be expected "for 
ages to come," from this prolific source. Men think of the lumber 
forests of the Peninsula as they do of the coal beds of Pennsylva- 
nia and Ohio, and laugh at the predictions of alarmists. Yet 
these predictions are not hasty, but are based on exact calculations. 
At the present rate of consumption, in a little over seventeen years 
the pine will be entirely cleared from lower Michigan, and the lum- 
ber Dusiness will be at an end. If consumption m the next five 
years should increase in the ratio of the last five vears, ten years 
will exhaust the material. The most sanguine calculation cannot 
carry the lumber business beyond the present century. 

There is no reason to think that the consumption will die off 
while the facilities for getting lumber are so great, and so many 
markets are calling for a supply. The waste will go on. The 
owners of the land will use their opportunity, and let the future 
take care of itself. They would not be American if they should 
voluntarily curtail a profitable business in view of spreading it 
over a longer successicm of years. It is more probable that new 
mills will be built than that those already built will reduce their 
production or their capacity. It was uttered years ago, and has 
been repeated with the succeeding seasons, yet thus far with no 
effect. 

THE USE OF THE LAND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. 

Fortunately, these new cities are not entirely dependent upon 
the lumber business. As this industry declines, a more permanent 
industry takes its place. The pine lands of Michigan are not, 
like the pine lands of the Southern States, "pine barrens." They 
are excellent for farming purposes — ^for fruit, tillage and pasture. 
The finest wheat grows on tracts from which the timber has been 
cut. These tracts are inviting to the settler, not only from the 
cheapness of the land — ^which is almost given away by the lumber 
merchant, who has no use for it when the trees are cut off, and is 
glad to escape his taxes — ^not only from its cheapness — a dollar an 
acre, or thereabouts — ^but because roads arc already opened and 
the market for produce secured. Thirty years hence, if the land 
be denuded of its forests, it will show a wheat region more mar- 
velous in its breadth, richness and promise for the future, than the 



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BISTORT OF THE SAGINAW TALLBY. 26 

pine region of the present day — a wheat region which may with 
more reason be called ^ inexhanstible." Several comities which 
were lumber counties a few years ago, have now become noted for 
agriculture, and export largely the products of the farm and of the 
field. Gknesee county, for instance, of which Flint is the county 
seat, has a broad expanse of rich grain fields around its central 
group of sawmills, and the time is not far distant when the dull 
rumble of the millstones will drown the shrill scream of the saws. 
The pioneer is insensible to arguments touching the future sup- 
ply of timber; to him the forest is only fit to be exterminated, as 
it hinders his plow and obstructs his sunlight. When northern 
Michigan becomes, like southern Illinois, a great rolling prairie of 
grass and grain, whose horizon is as unbroken as the horizon of the 
ocean, the want of foresight that permitted the destructicm of these 
magnificent forests will be bitterly lamented. 

INVESTMENT OP MONEY. 

Yet not all the pine lands of Michigan are susceptible of culti- 
vation. There are swampv tracts which will require deep and ex- 
tensive drainage before being available for agriculture. There are 
sandy tracts which must be greatly Enriched before they can be 
made productive. Bad river, one of the best lumber tributaries 
of the Saginaw, will always vexatiously annoy the owners of the 
low lands which it washes. Perhaps the proportion of good farm- 
ing land in the pine region is not greater than in the southern sec^ 
tion of the State. But when the railways are built, and the inte- 
rior counties are brought into closer intercourse with the marts of 
trade, as they will be in twenty or thirty years, the man who to- 
day invests his $500 in the purchase of five hundred acres of this 
"exhausted" pine land, will find himself with a handsome fortune. 
Much of the wealth of Detroit has come from the lumber business ; 
but the surest fortiines have been and will be gained from the cul- 
ture of the soil. It is a consolation for those who see with sadness 
the felling of the forests, that the farmers follow the wood-choppers 
80 closely, and create where the pioneers destroy. 

Mr, Brigham's remarks in regard to the use of pine lands for 
agricultural purposes, apply particularly to this locality. It has 
been a generally received notion that when a person bargains for a 
tract of pine land, it must be specially designated as such, the idea 
of farming land never once entering into the contract. It must 
contain so many thousand feet of pine to the acre, and must lie 
contiguous to some stream, in order that its products may readily 
be "driven" or rafted out. The question as to the depth of soilj 



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2^ HISTOBY OF THE SAGINAW TALLKY. 

whether it be rolling or flat, never occurs, but is it good pine land ? 
This idea, if strictly indulged in, would prove sadly suicidal to the 
best interests of some of the finest farming regions in the world. 
But we are happy to state that such fallacious notions are no 
longer entertained by an intelligent people. In traversing an 
abandoned "pine lot," with its deserted, dilapidated cabins, its 
huge, blackened stumps, whose sprawling, massive roots seem to 
cover all space, its little humps or knolls of yellow sand, its tangle 
of blackberry, raspberry or gooseberry bushes, which thrive and 
bear luxuriantly, together with its general air of desolation and 
min, we are willing to confess does anything but impress favorably 
the mind of the man who comes from an old settled country, to 
seek a new home in the lumber regions. If the early pioneer of 
our country had suffered no more than is simply incident to the 
toil of stump digging and preparing the soil for crops, he would 
have been comparatively a happy man; but he had all the hard- 
Aips and privations of a wild backwoods life to endure, far from 
all civilization, and out of "humanity's reach." Now, with all 
the means of intercommunication, railroads, plank roads and good 
wagon roads, that "gridiron " the country in almost every direction, 
and which are still being projected, no person need be deterred 
from locating lands because they may at the time seem so far from 
market. Notwithstanding those abandoned "pine lands" appear so 
uninviting, many of them in this vicinity have been cleared up 
and brought into so perfect a state of culture that old practical 
farmers from the East have been astonished at the wonderful crops 
produced by them. It is a well-conceded fact that the strongest 
soil, and that best adapted to agricultural purposes, will, by a suc- 
cession of kindred crops, deteriorate after awhile and become al- 
most worthless, if no means are employed to retain that strength, 
such as a proper system of manuring and cultivation. Although 
these pine lands make splendid farms, a practical knowledge of 
farming is as necessary to accomplish such an end, as is a knowl- 
edge of mechanism to construct any machinery and bring it to a 
state of perfection. 



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HISTORY OF THB SAGINAW VALLEY. 27 

DAIRY FARMING IN THE SAGINAW TALLET. 

The Saginaw Valley a£fords an opening for the dairy business, 
scarcely equaled by any region in the United States. The Sagi- 
naw river towns afford the best market in the State for dairy pro- 
ducts. The constant demands to supply the lumbering regions, 
the wants of a large population engaged in mechanical, manufac- 
turing and mercantile branches of business, and ultimately the de- 
mand for shipment for the Lake Superior region, all tend to keep 
this market good, and to increase the demand. 

With this excellent market, this region also affords the very 
best quality of grazing lands. Its rich alluvial soil is especially 
adapted to dairy farming. And yet it seems remarkable that no- 
body has as yet engaged in it. But with such facilities as induce- 
ments, it is highly probable that some enterprising farmers soon 
will make preparations to engage in this branch, and not only find 
it profitable to themselves, but greatly increase the productive re- 
sources of this favored portion of the State. 

WILD FRUITS AND BERRIES. 

Wild or native fruits, such as plums, cherries, grapes, etc., grow 
in great abundance upon the bottom lands and along the margins 
of the streams, while all manner of shrub fruits and berries are 
found in the greatest profusion in the woods, including currants 
and gooseberries of several varieties, whortleberries, blackberries, 
red and black raspberries, strawberries and cranberries. The cran- 
berry which grows in some of the marshes, was a few years ago an 
important article of export here, hundreds of bushels being shipped 
annually from the port of Saginaw to eastern cities. This trade 
has about fallen off, owing to the great home consumption, and the 
destruction of the marshes by fire and other causes. During the 
M«of 1856, hundreds of acres of cranberry marshes were literally 
consumed and destroyed by the fires which raged incessantly for 
"weeks in our northern fDrests. The grapes and wild plums are, 
many of them, of an excellent quality, and might, by domesticating^ 
be rendered almost equal to the imported fruit. 



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^8 HISTOBX OV THE SAOINAW YALLSY. 

The soil and climate here are adapted to the rearing of all 
kinds of fruits, and judging from the thriving manner in which the 
wild fruits grow, and of the great yield of domestic fruits in some 
portions of the Saginaw Valley already, we predict that at no dis- 
tant day this section of country will be noted as a fruit growing 
one. Any person attending our county agricultural fairs, and 
viewing the great variety of apples, pears, peaches, plums, grapes, 
etc., on exhibition, raised in the valley, would not for a moment 
hesitate in pronouncing this a fruit growing country. Strawberries 
seem to be peculiarly indigenous to the soil here. When properly 
cultivated and attended to, the vine of this berry yields in an 
abundance that is truly astonishing, and amply repays for all the 
care which its delicate nature requires. We are happy to know 
that its culture is being largely entered into, and with success, and 
It will not be long, we surmise, e'er this luscious berry will be an 
article of export with us. 

VEGETABLES AND GRAINS. 

Although in a previous article we have dwelt upon the farming 
lands of the valley, we wish to call particular attention to the pe- 
culiar adaptation of the soil, especially on the bottom lands, and 
even upon some of the intervales farther back, to the production of 
all kinds of field and garden cereals. Potatoes, turnips, beets, 
carrots, parsnips, etc., also prove by their excessive yield and supe- 
rior size, the extreme fecundity of the soil, while every variety of 
garden vines produce to an astonishing degree. Peas, beans, toma- 
toes, cabbages and lettuce grow in our gardens and fields to great 
perfection and flavor. The potato attains to a superior excellence 
with us, and it is nothing unusual to hear of three hundred bushels 
and upward being raised from one acre of land. 

Wheat, barley, oats, rye, corn and buckwheat yield satisfactorily. 
While wheat does better, as a general thing, back from the streams 
and upon heavy soil, all other kinds pf grain seem to flourish in al- 
most any locality in the valley. We will veoture to say that our 
com cannot be excelled anywhere. 



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HISTOBT OF TH£ SAGINAW YALLEYv 29 

As a stock raising country, the Saginaw Yallej must, with the 
iiaoilities it possesses in this direction, excel, if attention is paid to 
it Thousands of tons of very good hay are annually cut upon 
^e prairies and wild meadows found in various portions of the val- 
ley, and where the foreign and domestic grasses have been intro- 
<duced, they have succeeded to admiration. 

MINBBALS. 

Many indications of the existence of minerals of various kinds 
!have been discovered in the Saginaw Valley from time to time. 
Along the banks of the Tittabawassee and Flint rivers, specimens 
of bitumenous coal were found several years ago, and although lit- 
tle effort has been made to explore for it in those vicinities, the 
probability is U&at rich beds exist not far below tibe surface. In 
the immediate vicinity of the Saginaw river, however, it has been 
pretty well demonstrated that coal does not exist to any extent, by 
the sinking of salt wells, and some experimental borings for it. 
Upon the Shiawassee river, in the vicinity of Corunna, some very 
prolific beds were worked ten or twelve years ago, and we believe 
are now being worked. At Six Mile Creek, in the town of New 
Haven, in Shiawassee county, near the southern boundary line of 
Saginaw county, an extensive bed of coal has been found, and re- 
cent explorations have proven it to be the richest and thickest 
Tein in the State. In sinking a shaft eighteen and a half feet ver- 
iiically, eleven feet of coal was found in veins of from two to five 
ieet in thickness each. An East Saginaw company has been re- 
cently organized, for the purpose of opening and working this bed. 
A superior article of iron ore is found in connection with this coal, 
«aid to be from forty to fifty per cent, in richness. The Jackson, 
Lansing & Saginaw railway passes in the immediate vicinity of 
this mine. Excellent specimens of coal have also been found at 
Hemlock City, a new town recently started by W. F. Glasby, Esq., 
in Saginaw county, about fourteen miles from Saginaw City, on 
ihe line of the Saginaw & Gratiot plank road. Coal has likewise 
leen found in Tuscola county, in veins from two to five feet in 
thickness. 



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30 HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW TALLEY. 

A few years ago, several specimens of native copper ore were 
found near the headwaters of the Tittabawassee river, which led 
many to suppose that this ore might be found there plentifully by 
exploration, but we believe no attempt was ever made in that di- 
rection. A piece of pure native copper was found in East Sagi- 
naw a few years since, while sinking a salt well, at least fifty feet 
below the surface. We would not, however, recommend copper 
explorations here at present, if it lies so far below. 

PLASTER BEDS ANE LIMESTONE. 

Plaster is found in great abundance and of the very best quality 
on the western shore of Saginaw Bay. These beds extend over a 
surface of about five hundred acres, and are, so for as have been 
explored, found to be about twelve feet in thickness. It is sup- 
posed, however, by parties interested, that they must be not far 
from twenty feet thick, and inexhaustible. These beds at present 
are owned and worked by B. F. Smith, who employs seventy men 
in and about the works. A town has sprung up here, called Ala- 
baster, which contains a hotel, store, mechazdo shops, and about 
thirty dwelling houses, besides a saw mill, grist mill, plaster mill 
and kalsomining works. A wharf extending several hundred feet 
into the Bay, with a railroad track running to the plaster beds, en- 
ables the proprietor to ship the plaster to any portion of the coun- 
try. A vessel designed especially for this trade will ply between 
this point and Wenona, the present terminus of the Jackson, Lan- 
aing & Saginaw railroad. It is expected that the annual shipments 
of plaster will soon reach not less than 80,000 tons. There are 
several varieties of plaster rock found in these beds, which, besides 
making plaster, furnish excellent and beautiful building material. 
Some of it is variegated, and susceptible of a high state of polish. 
In the vicinity of the Bay, limestone is likewise found in great 
quantities, in ledges and quarries, of a very superior quality, which 
is used for building purposes as well as for lime. Large tracts of 
limestone land lie near Wild Fowl Bay, some of which are owned 
by Eugene Grant, Esq., who offers liberal inducements to any one 
who wishes to engage in one of the most lucrative trades — that of 



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niSTOBT OF THE SAGINAW Y ALLEY. 31 

mftnufacturiog lime. The facilities for shipment from any point in 
this region are good, and this branch of trade must at no distant 
day be made a profitable one. . At present, the building stone, as 
well as that used for lime, in the yalley, are brought from a great 
distance, and command a very high price. This should not be 
when we have plenty of it within our own borders. 

LUMBSB. 

We have, contrary to the course heretofore pursued by others, 
in speaking of the Saginaw Valley, refrained from spreading before 
the public our lumber and salt at the outset, and thus giving people 
abroad to understand that we have nothing else to recommend us 
to favorable consideration but these two commodities. We are 
often accused of being troubled with '4umber and salt on the 
brain," but we wish it expressly understood that we possess other 
qualifications, which, although to a csrtain extent at present act as 
a sort of "reserve guard,'^ will ere long come to the rescue, when 
our boasted lumber shall have disappeared, and our "salt lost its 
savor." It IB true that the lumber business with us may be con- 
sidered the basis or foundation of every other branch of trade, and 
has increased to such marvelous proportions that we almost lose 
sight of the fact that it must one day cease to take the lead not 
only, but be closed out entirely, throughout the Saginaw Valley. 
We do not propose to enter into a lengthy article upon the lumber 
trade, but will present facts and figures in regard to it, some of 
which we have compiled from authentic sources, and others we 
have obtained ourself, from headquarters direct. 

The first saw mill in the Saginaw Valley was built at Saginaw 
City, during the year 1882, by Gardner D. and E. S. Williams. 
A portion of the machinery used in this mill was taken from the 
old " Walk in the Water," the first steamer that navigated Lake 
Erie. This mill was merely built for the purpose of accommoda- 
ting the early settlers, as such a thing as shipping lumber from the 
wild region of the Saginaws was not then dreamed of. In connec- 
sion with this mill, and impelled by the same power, a small run of 
stone "cracked com" for our Saginaw forefathers, who lived and 



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32 HISTORY Of THB SAGINAW YALLET. 

thriYed on *^ hog and hominy " — ^with all due respect to tiieir blessed 
memory. The first shipment of lumber firom the Yalley was from 
the Emerson mill, in the year 1836. This mill, which was located 
near the east end of Bristol street bridge, East Saginaw, was built 
the year previous, by a New York company. Its dimensions were 
55 by 120 feet, and it contained three upright saws, an edging ta- 
ble and butting saw. Its engine was scYenty-fiYC horse power, 4^ 
feet stroke. There were three boilers, 18 feet long, 42 inches in 
diameter, and 14 inch flues. Capacity, about 4,000,000 feet or 
lumber. This mill suspended operations about thirteen years ago,, 
and soon fell into ruins the remains of which were consumed by 
fire two years since. Portions of the old dock connected with this 
mill still remain. We said that the first shipment of lumber from 
the Yalley was from this milL Lumber being shipped from here 
thirty-two years ago, was a far different affair from the shipment of 
lumber to-day. Imagine, if you please, a small craft manned by 
three or four men, lying at the mouth of the riYer, waiting for a 
north wind to waft it on its devious way up the Saginaw. A 
breeze springs up, and the little craft walks along through the 
water like a live thing. Arriving at the "Devil's Elbow," the 
wind suddenly shifts, or a dead calm settles down upon the face of 
the waters. The anchor is cast overboard, or a line conveyed to 
the shore and fastened to a stake driven into the soft ground. A 
day or two, perhaps a week, passes before a favorable breeze comes,, 
when with spread wings the craft again moves, luid after divers ad- 
verse winds and perverse calms, she makes port, receives her cargo 
of lumber, furs and cranberries, and is ready to "clear;" but alas,, 
an eight-day north wind sets in, and she remains " tied up," while 
the crew go off on a jolly bender. 

To-day, a fleet of noble vessels, well manned, enter the Bay, on 
their way up the river after lumber. They do not have to wait 
for a favorable wind, for a score or less of tugs are in waiting to 
escort them to their places of destination. In a short time each 
noisy little tug is under way with its majestic charge. Approach- 
ing a drawbridge, three whistles are sounded as a signal, the draw 
slowly opens, tug and vessel pass through and are soon at their 



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HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 33 

destined dock. In two or three days, with a full cargo, the noble 
vessel is being hurriedly "steamed*' out of the river, and in a few 
days more she is reported at Buffalo, or Chicago, or some other 
distant port, "all right." 

During the year 1857, there were in the entire Saginaw Valley, 
including old-fashion water mills and steam mills that had to pur- 
chase fuel, forty-four lumber manufactories. The old gang mill at 
Saginaw City, with a capacity for sawing 7,000,000 feet, was con- 
sidered, as it really was at that time, a marvelous affair. When 
compared with Sage & McGraw's mill at Wenona, whose capacity 
is 40,000,000, it really appears to us like a " one-horse concern," 
firom our present stand-point. These forty-four mills manufactured 
during that season, 114,600,000 feet, employing in and about them 
900 men. In 1867, there were eighty-two steam saw mills, many 
of them with capacities for manufacturing from 10,000,000 to 20,- 
000,000. The amount of limber sawed that year was 424,000,- 
000 feet, and the number of men employed was 2,408. In addition 
to the above number of mills, about ten new ones have been since 
erected, and are now running. 



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34 



HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLBT. 



MILLS AND LOCATION. 



Capacity. 



^Lumber 

Manu&cM 

in 1867. 

Feet 



O. A. Ballou & Co., Kawkawlin, - ' • 
Moore, Smith* Co.. - - - Bangor, 
William Crossthwaite, • • - do 
Taylor & Moulthrop, - - - do 

Keystone Salt and Lumber Wfi Co., do 

Drake's MUl, do 

Sage, McGraw & Co., - - - Wenona, 
Huron Salt and Lumber M'fg Co., Salzburg, 
John Arnold & Co., ... do 

G. W. HotchklBB, - - - - WiUiams, 

A. Packard, do 

Gates & Fay, ... - Bay City, 

H. M. Bradley & Co., - - - do 
William Peters, - - . . do 

N. B. Bradley d& Co. ... - do 
Watson d& O^Brien, - - - do 

Bddy, Avery & Co.. - - - - do 
James McCormick, - . - do 

Jeonison &. Bouse, - . . . do 
James Shearer A Co., - - - do 

Samuel Pitts & Co,, - - ■ - do 

J. McEwan, do 

Dolsen & Walker, .... do 
Folsom & Arnold, - - - - do 

A. Rust & Co., .... do 

Smith dc Hart, . - - . do 

C. S. Marton & Co., • • Portsmouth, 

A. Stevens & Co., ... do 

Watrous & Southworth, - - - do 
A. & A, MUler, - . . - do 

Hitchcock, do 

Lewis & Peters, - - - - do 

A. C. Rorrison, .... do 

J. F. Wellington & Bro., - Pine Island, 



Willow Island, 
Crow Reserve, 
• Zilwaukle, 

do 
- CarroUton, 
do 
do 
do 
do 
- Florence, 
do 
do 
do 
do 
East Saginaw, 
do 



W. R. Bdrt & Co., 

Oneida Salt and Lumber Co., 

Rust, Eaton dc Co., 

J. H. Jerome, - - - 

S. H. Webster, 

Ellsha 0. Litchfield, 

T. Jerome & Co., - 

E. F.Gould, 

Haskln, Martin &. Wheeler, 
Shaw d& Williams, 
Merrill* Co., - - 

Haskln, Martin d& Wheeler, 

F. Babcock, . , - - 
Grant & Saylor, 
J. L. Wickes & Bros., - 
S. A; 0. McLean, 
M. E. Garrison, 
Jewett & Gordon, 
W. L. P. Little & Co., - 
ChariesLee, . - - 
Warner dc Eastman, 
G.C. Warner & Co., 
Sears dc Holland, ... 
Ohapm, Barber dc Co., 
A. W. Wright & Co., • 

G. F. Williams 4b Bros., - 
Thompson Bros., - - - 
Barnard dc Binder, 
Green 4b Harding, • 
Heather 4b Allison, - 
Forest Valley Salt 4b Lumber Company, do 

RBriggs, do 

Ourtis 4t Coming, * - South Saginaw* 
Bust 4b Ingiedew, . • • - do 

Ann Arbor Salt 4b Lumber M*fig Oo. do 

Bnndy 4b Lowman, .... do 

Steven, Cromwell 4b Co., • • do 

0. 8. Kimberlv, - • Bt Charles, 

Freeman 4b Adams, > > > - do 
O. A Lull, ----- Bridgeport, 
Vew England Salt 4b Lumber Co^Buena vista, 
Allen 4b Sutherland, - • Tittabawassee, 

JohnLarkin, Midland, 

Albany Salt 4b Lumber Company, Cass River, 
Tributary to the VaUey, - (County HUls,) 



do 
do 
do 
do 
do 
do 
do 
do 
Saginaw City, 
do 
do 
do 
do 
do 



1 




1 




1 




1 




1 




1 




1 




1 




1 




1 




1 




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2 




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2 




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1 


2 


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1 


1 


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1 


1 


1 




1 


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1 


1 


1 


1 




1 


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1 


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% 


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6 


8 



20,000,000 

18,000,000 

2,000,000 

9,000,000 

16,600,000 

9,000,000 

40,000,000 

9,000,000 

9,000,000 

6,000,000 

2,000,000 

9,000,000 

9,000,000 

8,600,000 

16,000,000 

7,200,000 

16,000,000 

9,000,000 

16,000,000 

13,000,009 

10,600,000 

13,000,000 

5,000,000 

9,000,000 

8,000,000 

9,000,000 

6,000,000 

3,500,000 

8,500,000 

13,000,000 

4,000,000 

9,000,000 

4,600,000 

6,(K)0,000 

13,000,000 

19,600,000 

21,000,000 

13,000,000 

16,900,000 

14,000,000 

9,000,000 

13,000,000 

14,000,000 

13,000,000 

11,000,000 

9,000,000 

8,000,000 

10,000,000 

13,0(10,000 

13,000,000 

9,000,000 

9,000,000 

18,000,000 

6,000,000 

11,000,000 

13,000,000 

11,000,000 

28,000,000 

16,000,000 

18,000,000 

18,000,000 

6,000,000 

13,000,000 

11,000;000 

11,000,000 

8,600,000 

8,000,000 

6,600^000 

9,000,000 

6,000,000 

7,000,000 

7,600,000 

2,000,000 

2,000,000 

2,000,000 

6,000,000 

2,000,000 

17,000,000 



10,000,000 
6,400,000 
400,000 
6,600,000 
8,160,617 
3,600,000 
32,952,661 
7,640,000 
4,000,000 
1,860,000 
650,000 
6,300,000 
6,816,000 
7,000,000 
8,000,000 
6,000,000 
7,800,009 
4,661,000 
4,200,000 
8,006,739 
8,200,000 
8,600,000 
8,618,000 
4,700,000 
6,070,6n 
4,600,000 
2,020,000 
1,600,000 
1,800,000 
8,600,000 
8,000,000 
6,600,000 
1,200,000 
2,372,172 
6,200,000 
9,500,000 
12,500,000 
2,000,000 
9,700,000 
6,476,000 
4,600,0f0 
6,000,000 
7,838,305 
7,900,000 
6,364,111 
3,200,000 
300,000 
8,600,000 
6,626,709 
6,600,000 
7,000,000 
8,600,000 
3,800,000 
3,600,000 
2,600,000 
6,300,000 
10,600,000 
7,000,000 
17,000,000 
6,600,000 
9,177,000 
10,000,000 
6,100,000 
6,000,000 
4,060,000 
4,420,000 
8,000,000 
7,000,000 
8,000,000 
4,300,000 
8,811,000 
2,800,000 
1,200,000 
700/)00 
800,000 
100,000 
4,600,000 



HISTORY OP THE SAGINAW VALLET. 35 

Ujxm the Bay Shore, at Alpena, Trowbridge Point, Corlies, Au 
Sauble, Tawas, Harrisyille and Devil River, there are about twen- 
ty mills, which manufacture not far from 85,000,000 feet of lumber 
per annum, and employ about 800 men. 

SHINGLE TRADE. 

The manu^Etcture of shingles is being engaged in extensively 
here. This trade, upon a small scale, was identified with the lum- 
ber business not less than 20 years ago, although it was long after 
that before machinery was made use of in connection with them. 
Millions were then made by hand, giving employment to hundreds, 
and afifording ample support to those who had settled upon new 
£eurms in the lumber regions. Statistics show the number of shin- 
gles made in the entire valley ten years ago, to have been 10,000,- 
000. Now, about 90,000,000 are manufactured, which shows 
eonsiderable increase in the trade since that time. The following 
table is from Lewis &> Headley's annual business statement: 



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36 



HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 



Shingles 

MftDufactur'd 

Id 1867. 



NAME OF FIRM. 



Shipped 
and Sold. 



0. A. Ballon & Co..- ..Kawkawlin 

Miller & Henderson ^ Bangor 

M. A.& A. H. Root Salzburg 

Jacob Ladrich " 

Watrons Bros Portsmouth 

A. S. Stevens & Co " 

Walker, Wheeler & Padley Bay City 

Robert Abbs... CarroUton 

F. D. Babcock Florence 

G. P. Hosmer " 

C. & E. Ten Eyck East Saginaw 

Burnham, Lawton & Co " 

J. M. Willey & Co Saginaw City 

E. P. &. S. J. Hitchcock " 

S. Bachtell " 

Wallace & Jose " 

Heather & Allison " 

Barnard & Binder " 

C. S. Kimberly St. Charles 

R. R. & W. (J. Thompson « 

Allen & Sutherland Tittabawassee 

D. A. Pettibone Bridgeport 

T. Brucker&Co " 

Morey Bros " 

C. Massner " 

Theodore Howard Midland 

Other small mills " 

Total shingles manufactured .. 

" " shipped, etc 

" " on hand 



1,000,000 
2,000,000 
3,000,000 
3,000,000 
4,000,000 
8,000,000 
2,600,000 
4,000,000 
8,100,000 
6,100,000 
7,760,000 
2,700,000 
6,800,000 
3,000,000 
2,006,000 
4,600,000 
1,200,000 
26,000 

3,000,000 
600,000 
6,800,000 
3,802,000 
2,000,000 
4,800,000 
600,000 
4,800,000 



800,000 
2,000,000 
2,683,760 

800,000 
4,000,000 
8,000,000 
2,000,000 

400,000 
7,700,000 
6,100,000 
7,660,000 
2,326,000 
6,200,000 
3,000,000 
1,900,000 
4,600,000 

854,526 
26,000 

400,000 
2,000,000 

420,000 
6,200,000 
3,467,000 
1,760,000 
4,600,000 

600,000 
3,600,000 

89,383,000 
84,476,275 
.6,561,250 



STAVE TRADE. 



This trade has for some time occupied a conspicuous place in the 
business of the Saginaw Valley. The almost inexhaustible sup- 
plies of superior oak which is found here, together with the facili- 
ties for shipping, render the various points upon the Saginaw 
admirable ones for this branch of industry. The getting out of 
hogshead, pipe and butt staves, furnishes employment for a vast 
number of men, and during the winter season, when the mills and 
salt works have temporarily suspended operations upon the river, 



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niSTOBY OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 



37 



-the making, hauling, culling and piling of them occupies quite a 
pre-eminency in the business of the river towns. The first stave 
jard in the valley was established in 1850, by Humphrey Shaw. 
For a long time but little was done at the business, owing to the 
limited means of shipping in those days. The staves manufactured 
liere find their way not only to various markets in the United 
States, but also to England, Germany, Spain and France. Since 
the discovery of salt here, the manufacture of barrel staves has 
become an important branch of trade. The hogshead, pipe, butt 
And barrel staves made in the valley, and delivered at different 
points along the railroads and river in 1867, numbers about 5,275,- 
•000, a good share of which were shipped. 

The number of barrel stave manufactories, together with amount 
made and on hand, is shown by the annexed table from the annual 
lousiness statement of Lewis & Headley, for 1867: 



Staves 

MannfacturM 

in 1867. 



Shipped, Sold 

and 

Made up. 



NAME OF FIRM. 



A. B. Bradley & Co ...Bay City 

Samuel Pitts & Co " 

Dolsen & Walker. " 

C. S. Marton ..Portsmouth. 

'Taylor & Moulthrop Bangor 

Keystone Salt & Lumber Co " 

Jacob Ladrich Salzburg 

Huron salt and lumber Co " 

Oneida Salt & Lumber Co Crow Island 

Hobert Abbs CarroUton 

Baskin, Martin & Wheeler " 

j;. F. Gould " 

Haskin, Martin & Wheeler Florence 

C. & E. Ten Eyck East Saginaw 

Sears & Holland " 

•Green & Harding Saginaw City 

Barnard & Binder " 

Heather & Allison " 

J'orest V'y Salt & Lumber Co " 
Ann Arbor Salt & Lumber Co. S. Saginaw 

New England Salt Co Buena Vista 

Albany City salt mfg Co .Cass River 



334,000 
225,000 
436,425 
150,000 
200,000 
80,000 
200,000 
203,000 
420,000 
600,000 
75,000 
200,000 
575,000 
2,300,000 
600,000 
350,000 
600,000 
368,300 
350,000 
250,000 
600,000 
200,000 



239,000 
160,000 
386,425 
150,000 
200,000 

100,000 
100,000 
395,000 
600,000 

40,000 
125,000 
575,000 
2,300,000 
[600,000 
275,000 
600,000 

76,734 
270,000 
250,000 
597,500 
170,000 



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38 HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLBT. 

Most if not all of the above factories are run in connection with 
mills and salt works, the same power being used. 

Mr. D. B. Ketchum of Saginaw City, has engaged in the manu> 
facture of shooks, with the highest degree of success. These 
shocks are staves already prepared for making into casks, hogs* 
heads, etc., neatly done up in packages, each package containing 
about thirty, or just enough to make one cask. They are made 
exclusively for the West India trade. About 110,000 packagea 
are shipped annually from this enterprising institution. Twenty- 
five men find constant employment in and about the works. 

SHIP-BUILDING AND SHIPPING. 

The first vessel built on the Saginaw river was the Julia Smith,, 
a small schooner, launched during the year 1837, and owned by 
Nelson Smith, Esq., a resident of Saginaw City. In 1848 the first 
steamboat was built, and launched into the bayou on the east side 
of the river, near where Bristol street now commences. This wae 
a stem wheel institution, and was used both as a tug and packet. 
Its name was Buena Vista, and it was built by a joint stock com- 
pany. Addison Mowrey commanded iU The Buena Vista was a 
queer looking affair, but it did a goodly amount of business for 
those days, and was looked upon by the early residents of the val- 
ley as a marvel of speed, although it must be confessed it was 
somewhat asthmatic and noisy. Two or three years subsequent^ 
the next steamboat was built, at Zilwaukee, by Daniel Johnson^ 
Esq., and named the Snow. About this time a scow or barge 
called the Ethan Allen, was launched near the old Emerson mill, 
by Curtis Emerson, who celebrated the occasion with a fine ban- 
quet, given at the Webster House, Saginaw City. 

We have spoken in another place, under the head of timber, of 
the superior excellence of our oak for ship-building. We will sim- 
ply repeat that in point of flexibility, elasticity, toughness and du- 
rability, it has been pronounced equal to the old English oak, and 
superior to most of the ship timber found elsewhere in the United 



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HISTOBY OP THE SAGINAW TALLBT. 



States. During the year 1867, the following crafts were built on 
the Saginaw river, at the different ship-yards : 

Name Owners Tonnage 

Bark J. C.King Gillet & King 512 

. « W. H. Vanderbilt G. S. Weaver 616 

Barge Wolverine Arnold & Co. 141 

" A. F. R. Braley Fields 391 

« G. W. Wesley Sonsmith & Co. 244 

Prop. J. M. K. Hilton Hill & Waterman 166 

Barge T. P. Sheldon Sawyer & Cholet 186 

" J. A. Holland Walsh & Barber 157 

Prop. J. Stewart Stewart & Goddard 51 

Tug Anna MoUes MollesBros. 72 

Tug Ballentine Ballentine, Crawford & Co. 73 

S teamer Johnny Ballon 52 

Barge Samuel Bolton Ballentine & Co. 330 

" J. L. Ketchum Ballentine & Co. 425 

" Charlie Crossthwaite & Co. 109 

" Joseph Trombley & Co. 293 

Scow Pioneer.^- - . Allen 17 

Scow Dolphin Coupon & Co. 43 

From the year 1855 to 1857 inclusive, the number of crafts 
which entered the Saginaw river were as follows : — Barks, 66; brigs, 
290; schooners, 982; steamboats, 273. Previous to that time, the 
whole number of arriviils of all kinds could not have exceeded 
twenty annually. The whole number of crafts reported now as 
passing Genessee street bridge in the city of East Saginaw alone» 
during one month, is over one thousand. This by no means in- 
cludes all that come into the river, as hundreds stop at Bay City 
and points below. Besides the general shipping of the river, we 
have several regular lines of steamboats to Detroit, Cleveland 
Toledo, Goderich, and to every point on the Bay and Lake shores, 
which carry both freight and passengers. 

The following will show what the entire shipments were by 
water, from the Saginaw Valley, during the year 1867, of its 
products: 



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40 HISTORY OF THB SAGINAW V ALLEY. 

Lumber, feet 368,001,930 

Lath, pieces 44,175,591 

Shingles 44,350,000 

Salt, barrels 403,393 

Oak timber, feet 708,720 

Oak timber, pes 7,340 

Walnut lumber, feet 12,000 

Staves 5,206,472 

Shocks, bundles 10,468. 

Hoops -1,330,000 

Pickets 595,205^ 

Pail bolts, cords '. 50 

SALT. 

Our former State Geologist, the lamented Dr. Douglas Hough- 
ton, asserted that a goodly portion of the Saginaw Valley rested 
on a bed of salt, and that by sinking shafts anywhere along the 
river and its tributaries, strong brine in any quantities would be: 
the result. This assertion, be it remembered, was made at least 
twenty-five years ago, and had the good Doctor been permitted to- 
live, he would have witnessed the verification of that assertion. 
Although "salt licks," or springs, were found at that early day^ 
plentifully, all through the valley, the Doctor remarked in his Re- 
port, that " the appearance of a salt spring at the surface is of it- 
self far from being evidence of the existence of water below. It 
is only a single link in the chain of facts." 

In pursuance to an act of Congress in 1837, in regard to the 
selection of salt lands in Michigan, our Legislature, immediately 
after, and in the same year, passed an act authorizing the Gov- 
ernor to make the selection. A portion of these lands were select- 
ed on the banks and near the mouth of Salt river, a small tributary 
of the Tittabawassee, about ten miles above the forks of the same, 
or where Midland City now stands. In 1838, Dr. Houghton was 
authorized to commence boring for salt at one of the salt springs. 
He selected the above spot, and went to work the same year, the 
Legislature appropriating $3,000 to defray expenses. After work- 
ing nine months, the shaft had only reached 140 feet, when, getting 
out of funds, and the Legislature failing to make any farther ap- 



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HI8T0BT Of THK SAGINAW YALLST. 41 

propriation, the work was abaadoned, and everything connected 
with it went into ruins. The most sanguine belief, however, was 
entertained in regard to the existence of salt beds in this vicinity, 
and when, in 1869, a bill was introduced into the Legislature to 
appropriate $10,000 towards developing the salt in the Grand river 
valley, our people felt that such an appropriation for that locality 
was unjust, as the chances here for salt were equal, if not greater 
than they were there. During the pendancy of thb bill, public 
meetings were held in the Saginaw Valley, to discuss the matter, 
and it was deemed advisable to apply to the Legislature for some 
encouragement towards developing cur salino resources, which wo 
felt confident we possessed. To this end a petition was drafted, 
and also a bill to afford such protection and aid as might be 
required, on the principle of granting a bounty on salt in order to 
encourage its manufacture. The result was, the $10,000 appropri- 
ation for Grand Eapids, or the bill, rather, was laid aside, and this 
bill was passed and approved, Feb. 15, 1869. All property used 
in connection with the manufacture of salt, was exempt from taxa- 
tion by the provisions of this bill, which also provided a bounty of 
ten cents a bushel on all salt made. With such encouragement, a. 
company was at once formed in East Saginaw, during the year 
1859, and a shaft sunk to the depth of 632 feet, when brine was 
found in great abundance and strength. Two blocks being built, 
salt boiling commenced in June, 1860, and the first salt was packed 
in July following. The first year, the company, with two wells, 
manufactured nearly 11,000 barrels, and the second year, over 32,- 
000. All manner of methods are adopted in the manufacture of 
salt, viz., by kettles, solar and steam evaporation, pans, and Cha- 
pins Patent, which last originated in this valley. There is but 
little difference in the quality thus manufactured, although each 
one very naturally claims a superiority over that made by hia 
neighbor who differs from his plan. This pleasant rivalry leads to 
the very best results. We append the following table, showing 
the progress in the business from the first. This year (1868) the 
amount of salt made will probably be the same that it was last 
season : 



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42 HISTORY OV THE SAGINAW YALLET. 



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HISTOKT OF THE SAQINAW YALLST. 43 

BRICK. 

The great demand for brick, and the superior excellence of the 
material in the Saginaw Valley, has led to their manufacture upon 
an extensive scale, upon the Tittabawassee and Cass rivers, where 
the very best clay and sand for this purpose is found in great 
abundance. It must not be supposed for a moment, that the land 
in the vicinity of these brick yards is unfit for agricultural pur- 
poses. Far from it, for they are all located in the best farming 
districts in the State. Before these yards can be prepared, the 
surface, which consists of a rich formation of lo^im, in many in- 
stances not less than fourteen inches in thickness, with its corre- 
sponding depth of subsoil, ha3 to be removed before coming to the 
clay beds, which are almost any thickness imaginable. The upper 
strata makes brick of a pale red color, while the deeper you dig, 
the lighter will be the color, resembling, both in color and quality^ 
the celebrated Milwaukee brick. Upon the Tittabawassee there 
are about twelve extensive yards, some of which employ machinery.^ 
Messrs. Tucker & Stever of this city, own one of the best on the 
river. A well conducted machine will turn out 12,000 brick per 
day, or even more, according to the number of hours employed* 
One ^man can make upwards of 1,000 per day, by hand, of stock 
brick, which are used for the fronts of buildings and for finishing* 
The brick yard of Dr. J. S. Curtis, located at Bridgeport Centre^ 
is probably about one of the best, if not the very best conducted 
yard in the valley. The present manager, Mr. Edington, evidently 
understands the business. This yard turns out 40,000 brick per 
day. It has three machines for ordinary brick, besides four stock 
machines, which are run by hand. The brick manufactured in the 
valley find a ready market at home, which is pretty goqd evidence 
that some building is being done among us. 

The first brick yard in the Saginaw country was established in 
East Saginaw, in 1852, near where Emerson and Franklin street^ 
now intersect, under the auspices of Norman Little. Mr. Albright 
started one about the same time, on the Tittabawassee, and fur- 
nished brick for the Buena Vista block and the Bancroft House, 
which were the first brick buildings in the valley. 



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44 HISTORY OF THE SAGIKAW VALLEY. 

FISH BUSINESS. 

For many years this trade has occupied quite a prominency in 
the business of the Lakes and Bay that hem in our beautiful 
Peninsula, and in point of extent and profit, it has been excelled 
but by few other branches of trade. It would be a difficult thing 
for us to establish the exact point of time when this trade was first 
entered into upon our upper Lakes, yet we know that for many 
years it has been engaged in with great success. Nor is it alone 
the lakes and bays that have acquired a notoriety for fish, for 
most of our rivers afford excellent varieties and in great abundance. 
During the spring and fall months, myriads of fish known as the 
wall-eyed pike, a species of pickerel, come into our northern 
streams to deposit their spawn, and hundreds of barrels of them 
are antiually taken by our fishermen during these seasons. Almost 
every other species of fresh water fish are caught here, by every 
conceivable means and method. The river fish business has been 
fot a number of years steadily increasing, until it has attained to 
considerable importance. Hundreds of barrels are caught during 
the winter season, through the ice. These are packed in ice, in 
barrels, and sent to eastern markets. The species of fish usually 
sent off thus are the pike, black bass, perch ai>d pickerel. Harvey 
Williams, Esq., one of our pioneers, introduced this trade here in 
1864, and is still actively engaged in it, and although nearlv eighty 
years old, is still hale and active, and is, to all present appearances, 
likely to furnish the Saginaw people with many barrels more of the 
finny race. During the year 1867, the trade amounted to nearly 
$15,000. For two or three years past, the average catch each 
year has been not far from seventy-five tons, and the average price 
has been $5 per cwt. It is estimated that the present year about 
$26,000 worth will be caught in the rivers and the bay at the 
mouth of the Saginaw. 

The sturgeon is both a lake and a river fish, and when properly 
served up, forms an excellent dish. During the early ages of the 
Saginaw Valley, before cattle were raised here, the flesh of this 
uncouth looking fish was called by our forefathers, " Saginaw beef." 



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HI8T0RT 01 THE SAGINAW VALLBT. 45 

The trout is a lake fish, and never finds its way into our rivers; so 
4il80 with the white fish^ the prince of fresh water fish. Cat fish 
iure sometimes caught here, weighing from ten to twenty poimds, 
1>ut people, as a general thing, will go a great way after other kinds 
of fish before using the flesh of thb. The perch, a splendid pan 
^Ay is caught by thousands in our rivers, in the spring and fall, 
with hook and line, in the hands of men, women and children, who 
enter into this sport with the greatest gusto. Our contiguity to 
the Bay and Lakes, and our ample means of intercommunication 
with aH the fishing points thereupon, fills our market with fresh 
trout and white fish, all seasons of the year, at reasonable rates. 

SAGINAW CITY. 

We have deemed it advisable to treat first upon the agricultural 
4ind other resources of the valley, together with the various depart- 
ments of trade, business, etc., before speaking directly of its cities 
.and villages, although we have often had occasion to allude to some 
of them in an incidental way. With our usual veneration for age, 
-we commence with Saginaw City, that being the starting point of 
civilisation in the valley of the Saginaw. 

This city is beautifully located upon the western bank of the 
iSaginaw river, twenty miles from Saginaw Bay, two hundred miles 
from Detroit via. Bay and Lake Huron, and ninety-five miles by 
railroad. It is the county seat of Saginaw, and according to the 
oensus taken the present season by its aontroUer, the population of 
the city is about 8,000 souls. The court house and building con- 
iiiuning the county offices, occupy the public square, located about 
in the centre of the city. The jail is situated opposite the court 
house, and its antiquated and forlorn appearance is more a "terror 
to evil doers," we suspect, than its bolts and bars and " dungeon 
^eep.^ In all probability a new and more imposing edifice will be 
built ere long. There are five handsome churches, one first class 
hotel, a splendid hall, and a large number of fine residences here* 
The streets are regularly laid out, and many of them are lined with 
a variety of beautiful shade trees, which, together with its delight- 
ful location, render this one of the most charming cities in the 



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46 HISTORY OF THB SAGINAW YALLSY. 

west. The Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw railroad passes through 
this city, and a street railway brings it into immediate communis 
cation with East Saginaw, a sister city on the east side of the 
river. As previously stated by us, a treaty was concluded here 
during the year 1819, between our Government and the Chippewas, 
under the direction of Gen. Lewis Cass, which secured to us a lar^ 
tract of territory, including the entire valley of the Sagma^r* 
About two years after, a United States cantonment was established 
here, a stockade was erected, block houses built, and everything 
marked it as a strict military community, which it in reality was* 
The fort was built upon a high point overlooking the river, a por* 
tion of the ground being now occupied by the Taylor iEouse. The 
treaty with the Indians was held nesur the spot upon which the 
residence of William H. Sweet now stands. Many associations of 
a highly interesting character are interwoven with the early his- 
tory of Saginaw. For many years previous to the arrival of the 
troops, and indeed long after, this point was the great camping 
ground and general rendezvous of the Saginaw tribes, and was 
called by them Ke-pay-sho-wink, which means the great camping 
ground. It was here that the natives all rendezvoused in the 
spring, after finishing their sugar making and winter hunting. Af- 
ter this became a trading point, it was their custom to come here, 
settle up with the traders and have a general jubilee, or, more 
properly speaking, a grand pow-wow, which usually lasted two ox 
three weeks. During this time, old grudges, disputes and other 
difficulties were liquidated, and new feuds entered into. If an in- 
jury had been done one party by another, it was here settled at 
this time, either with property, such as horses, blankets, etc., or by 
the price of life. Were the injury of an exceedingly aggravating 
nature, such as the murder of one of the tribe, and a life was de- 
manded, it was stoically and unflinchingly yielded up by the 
doomed party. 

In the year 1822, the families of Major Baker, who commanded 
the detachment of troops, Lieuts. Garland and Brooks, together 
with those of Joseph Campau, Antoine Campau, Archibald Lyojis, 



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HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 47 

Mr. Provensal, Mr. <3orben and one other gentleman whose name 
is now lost, constituted the colonj which laid the foundation of 
Saginaw City. For many years aifter this little colony located 
here, the only means of communication with the great world out- 
aide were those afforded by the rivers, and an Indian trail which 
led through the woods to Detroit, upon which the Indians took 
their annual march to Maiden, to receive presents from the British 
Oovemment. Notwithstanding the great and serious incon- 
veniences that attended a removal hither, emigration began slowly 
to send out its feelers, so to speak, in this direction, and the little 
•colony in the woods of Saginaw soon began to increase in numbers 
and to thrive apace. The land in part upon which the city stands 
was located by Dr. Charles Little, during the year 1822, who en- 
tered large tracts upon the river, extending several miles either 
way. What the Doctor saw at that early day, in the wilds of a 
northern country, far from all manner of civilization, to induce 
him to invest money there, is more than we can imagine. He must 
<5ertainly have possessed a spirit of divination. In 1832, a portion 
of the spot now occupied as Saginaw City was platted and called 
Town of Saginaw. At this time the rush for town lots did not 
seem to be very great, and but few were disposed of. About op- 
posite Green Point, nearly two miles above the city, two years after, 
some visionary gentleman from the east conceived the idea of 
starting a town. A plot was made and a large city built — ^upon 
paper — called Upper Saginaw. But no "actual settlers" located 
here, and the proprietor lost all hope of seeing his city peopled 
with aught save "airy nothings," so he dropped his original inten- 
tions and gracefully retired. Not far from this identical spot, the 
large and enterprising village of South Saginaw now stands, with 
its busy population, its noisy hum of manufactories, its long line of 
docks, and its well regulated municipal arrangements. 

The town of Saginaw for a long time remained a small hamlet, 
its inhabitants being engaged principally in the fiir trade. About 
the year 1832, Gardner D. Williams, E. S. Williams, Harvey Wil- 
liams, James Busby, Elijah N. Davenport, Hiram L. Miller, Blea- 



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48 HISTORY OF THB SAOINAW YALLKT. 

zer Jewett, Charles D. Little, Abram Butts and James Fraaer 
located here, while Andrew Ure, J. Brown, D". Thompson, McCar- 

ty, John McGregor, H. and C. MoLane, Bacon, Stephen 

Benson and a few others, located farms upon the Tittabawassee 
river, and remoyed there with their families. To-day the farms of 
these pioneers are aniong the best in the State of Michigan. Mar- 
dock Fraser settled upon the bank of the same river in 1885, as a 
farmer. Two years previously he made an attempt to visit the 
Saginaw country on horseback, but between Pine Run and the 
Saginaw river he got lost, and wandered in the woods three days 
and nights without food, during which time, to add to his troubles, 
his pony left him, wolves howled around him, and streams obstruct- 
ed his way. He finally came out at the cabin of one Kent, situ- 
ated on the bank of the Cass river, where the plank road bridge 
now is, in rags and nearly famished. 

Our Saginaw pioneers, being tired of corn dodgers, began to 
raise a little wheat as early as 1835, and in order to get it floured, 
were obliged to go to Flushing, and sometimes as far as Pontiac, 
Oakland county, with oz teams, a portion of the way cutting their 
road through the woods. Upon one occasion Murdock Fraser 
started to mill with thirty bushels of wheat. Arriving at the 
Thread Mill, one mile the other side of where Flint City now b 
located, he found the mill out of repair, and proceeded on to Flush- 
ing. He was gone from home ten days, and being obliged to 
defray his expenses along the way out of his wheat, he having no 
money, he found upon his arrival home, more than half of his grist 
used up. One Captain S. was fourteen days coming from Pontiac 
to Saginaw, while Judge E. N. Davenport was seven days on the 
way from Flint, when he removed here with his family in 1882. 

lu 1835 the plot of the town was considerably enlarged, and a 
map drawn up and engraved, representing streets, public square, 
and all the elements of an emporium. The name of the town was 
changed to that of Saginaw City. Emigration began gradually to 
flow in, and thoughts of entering into a permanent organization 
for the purpose of transacting business in a proper manner^ were 



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HI8T0KT OP TH« SAGINAW YALLET. 49 

indulged iiu At that time Saginaw cotintj embraced Bay, Tus- 
oola, Huron and Sanilac counties. A County Boaard was estab- 
lished in 1835, and held its first meeting on the second Tuesday of 
October. As a sort of curiosity, and a relic, we publish the entire 
proceedings of the first meeting of the Board, after its organiza- 
tion. It bears on the face a show of business. 

The County Board of the County of Saginaw met, agreeable to 
law, on the second Tuesday in October, and said Board then ad- 
journed to Friday, Oct. 23, 1835, at the house of E. N. Davenport, 
in the village of Saginaw and county aforesaid. Were present, 
G. D. Williams, F. Mosely, J. P., Albert MiUer, J. P., E. S. Wil- 
liams, Town Clerk. On motion, Albert Miller was chosen Presi- 
dent of said Board, and E. S. Williams Clerk of said Board. On 
examination of accounts against said county, the following were 
allowed, viz. : 

1. To G. D. & E. S. WilHams $13 65 

2. E.S.Williams 20 00 

3. E.N. Bavenport 4 00 

4. E.S.Williams 1 00 

5. William F. Mosely 2 OO 

6. G. D. Williams 3 00 

7. Albert Miller 4 00 

8. Thomas Simpson . 1 50 

9. Resolved by the Board that A. Miller, Esq., be allowed 
for copying assessment roll and proportioning tax to 
collector 5 00 

10. Resolved that Wm. F. Mosely be allowed as District 

• Attorney for the year 1835 15 00 

11. G. D. & E. S. Williams, account for stationery ,. 50 

12. Resolved that the Clerk of this Board be allowed as 
compensation for services as Clerk. • — 2 00 

Amount of orders to be issued . .. $71 65 

The amount allowed for town expenses town of Saginaw- - 93 94 

Collectors fees at five percent -• ... 4 69 

Resolved that $100 be raised as a town tax for building a 

bridge in District No. 1, said town 100 00 

Add five per cent 5 00 

Amount of town tax $203 63 

Resolved, That the Treasurer of the county pay on order of the 
supervisor, fifty dollars, out of any monies in his hands, to be ap- 
plied in building bridge in District No. 1, town of Saginaw. 



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► Co. Board 



50 HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 

Resolved, That the County Clerk procure one quire of county 
orders printed, to be paid for out of the treasury, on order of the 
Supervisor. 

Resolved, That the Clerk of this Board is authorized to sign 
and issue county orders in compensation of the within claimants, 
for accounts allowed by this Board. 

Resolved, That the Clerk of this Board procure a suitable book 
for a record of the proceedings of this Board, and the Treasurer 
wiH^pay for the same on order of the Supervisor, out of any mon- 
ies in his hands. 

The Board then adjourned. 

We hereby certify the above to be the true proceedings of the 
Board. Under our hands this 23d day of October, 1835. 
G. D. Williams, Supervisor, 
Albert Miller, Justice of ]?eace, 
Wm. F. Mosely, " « 

E. S. Williams, Town & County CPk,, 

During the following year, Norman Little settled here with his 
family. As agent for a New York company, he purchased the 
military reserve, including the stockade, block houses, etc., for $55,- 
000. He at once commenced building upon an extensive scale for 
those days. Among the buildings thus erected were the Webster 
House, two large warehouses and docks, and quite a number of 
family residences. At this time the population had increased to 
about 900 souls. All was life and activity here, and the sound of 
the axe, the hammer and the saw, was heard ringing merrily over 
the waters of the Saginaw, or echoing in the green forests around. 
One or two steamers plied regularly between this place and De- 
troit, and everything gave promise of great results. A press was 
brought on from New York, by Norman Little, and a newspaper 
started here, called the Saginaw Journal. Its nominal editor w^ 
John P. Hosmer, although it is said that H. L. Miller really con- 
ducted it. The citizens also organized a library association and 
established a splendid town library, consisting of nearly one thou- 
sand volumes of choice books. Saginaw was in reality, at this 
time, a little world by itself, hemmed in by the bright river and 
beautiful green woods, and cut off as it were from all direct com- 
mimication with the great, busy world outside, for which it seemed 
to care but little. In a small pamphlet like this, it would be im- 



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HISTOKT OV THB SAOIMAW TALLJET. 61 

possible to trace minutely the history of the progress of this town, 
to note all the doings of a public nature, or to give it that atten- 
tion which in a larger volume it would most certainly receive. 

The terrible financial crisis and crash that followed the year 
1836, and which produced such a fearful reaction throughout the 
length and breadth of the land, frustrated to a great extent the 
plans of the company here, and left everything connected with the 
business in statu quo. As much of the population was a sort of 
floating one, it was not long after operations ceased here, before it 
became reduced more than one-half, and instead of the bustle and 
confusion that had prevailed, a Sabbath-like quiet now reigned. 
The steamers forsook the river, and the canoe again resumed its 
original occupancy. 

From 1839 to 1845, little or no emigration came into the coun- 
try. During the year 1841, the territorial road, or as it was more 
generally known, the Saginaw turnpike, was completed. This road 
had been chopped out and worked within eighteen miles of Sagi- 
naw several years before, when the work was abandoned. After 
its completion it was far from being a good road, and at some sea- 
sons of the year was almost impassible. In 1842, Gardner Wil- 
liams received permission of the county board to establish a ferry 
over the Saginaw river, at the foot of Mackinaw street, the right 
of ferriage to extend one mile from this point, each way, up and 
down the river. The rates of ferriage were one shilling for foot 
passengers, two shillings for a one-horse team, and four shillings 
for a double team. This ferry continued in operation until 1864, 
when a bridge across the river at this point superceded it. The 
mail was carried from Flint to Saginaw on horseback, as late as 
1849, and I think even later. About the year 1850, the tide of 
emigration began to turn northward, as this portion of the State 
was then considered, and prospects assumed a more favorable 
complexion. The "city" began to flourish, and business, which 
had so long lain dormant, awoke, and renewed its age and increased. 
Steamboats and vessels made their appearance here, saw mills in- 
creased, the forests around the town began to melt away, and ev- 



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52 HISTOBT OF THE SAQINAW TALLET. 



erjthing began to assume an appearance akin to a bona fide city. 
The fine farming lands in the yicinitj, and upon the rarious 
streams, began to be settled upon, and it became evident that the 
world was at last awakening to a realizing sense of the growing 
importance of the Saginaw Valley. The finding of salt here, in 
1860, gave an impetus to the business of the valley, and opened 
up a new field for operations. The building of the Jackson, Lan- 
sing & Saginaw railroad through this city, added to the already 
awakened spirit of trade, and to>day, Saginaw, which but a few 
years ago found its uncertain way through the woods by means of 
an Indian trail, hears the welcome sound of the ponderous loco- 
piotive, as it thunders through its streets at least six times a day, 
with its long train of magnificent cars, which, together with the 
Flint & Pere Marquette railroad and river, places it at onoe in 
direct communication with all mankind. 

This city was incorporated in 1857, and the following city offi- 
cers elected, viz.: — Gardner D. Williams, mayor; Coe Garrett, 
recorder; E. H. Shiminond, treasurer; John Moore, G. W. Bul- 
lock, Jay Smith and David Hughes, aldermen; John E. Gibson, 
marshal; E. C. Newell, city attorney; A. S. Gaylord, supervisor. 
The city is divided into four wards, each ward being entitled to 
two aldermen in the council. The present mayor is Alfred F. R. 
Braley, and the other city officers are as follows : — J. B. Scheick, 
recorder; Emil Schuermann, treasurer; J. T. Bumham, C. T. 
Brenner, N. D. Lee, G. K. Stark, S. B. Williams, M. T. C. Pless- 

ner, A. A. Brockway and J. S. North, aldermen ; Edwin Saunders, 
controller. 

CIRCUIT COURT. 

J.O.Sutherland . • Judge 

COUNTY OEFICERS. 

W. A. Lewis . •€. C. Commisioner 

E. H. Powers Prosecuting Attorney 

E. Bloeden County Clerk 

H. B. Ferris Deputy Clerk 

Henry Miller - SheriflF 

A. L. Bankin . -, Deputy SherifT 



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HISTORY OF THI SAGINAW YALLKY. 53 

D. A. Pettibone . '. Surveyor 

Otto Koeser... Probate Judge 

A. L. Bingham Register of Deeds 

•G. A. Lyon..- . .-• Treasurer 

L. W. Bliss, N. Osbom • . Coroners 

B. J. Brown -. • Registrar in Bankruptcy 

A Fire Department, with a steamer, hook and ladder company, 
•etc., was organized some time ago. 

CHURCHES. 

Presbyterian (First) corner of Court and Harrison streets. 
Methodist, corner of Washington and Adams streets. 
Baptist, (First,) comer of Franklin and Fayette streets. 
Episcopal, (St. Johns,) comer of Washington and Franklin 
.streets. 

Lutheran, (German Evangelical,) Court street. 

Lutheran, comer Harrison and James streets. 

Catholic, (St. Andrews,) comer Washington and Monroe streets. 

These denominations haYe all fine church edifices. 

schools. 

The city has a splendid system of schools, and fine buildings 
for educational purposes. Besides the seYeral ward school houses, 
i^hich are elegant structures, the main building, recently finished, 
IE perhaps, in point of architectural beauty and convenience, the 
^finest edifice in the west. 

MASONIO LODGES. 

Saginaw Lodge, No. 154, meets once a month in Masonic Hall, 
J'isher's block, Water street. Organized Feb. 19, 1864. 

Gkrmania Lodge, No. 79, organijsed March, 1854. Meets CYcry 
month, at Masonic Hall. 

ODD FELLOWS LODGES. 

Saginaw Lodge, No. 42, meets CYcry Monday evening, at Odd 
JJellows' Hall, comer Hamilton and Madison streets. 

Washington Encampment, No. 19, organized May, 1866. Meets 
in Odd Fellows' Hnll the first and third of each month. 

GOOD TEMPLABS. 

Saginaw Lodge, organized Febmary 13, 1864. Meetings held 
in Good Templars' Hall every Tuesday evening. 



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54 HISTORT OV THB SAGINAW TALLIT. 

TOUNO men's society. 

Organized January, 1868, and hold meetings every week, at 
their rooms in Ritter's block, comer Franklin and Water streets. 

SAGINAW CITY MUSICAL ASSOCIATION. 

Organized in 1866, and meets every Monday evening, in the 
parlor of the Presbyterian church. 

TEUTONIA SOCIETY. 

Incorporated in the year 1863. 

GYMNASTIC ASSOCIATION. 

Meets at Perscott^s Hall, comer of Water and Franklin streets. 

GERMAN ENGLISH SCHOOL ASSOCIATION. 

Meets at Prescott Hall. 

The Saginaw Republican, a weekly newspaper, edited by 
C. V. BeLand. 

A Gas Company has recently been organized here, which pro- 
poses to furnish the city with gas, soon. 

Saginaw City Street Railway extends from the foot of Mackinaw 
street bridge to the foot of Genessee street. East Saginaw. 

AU SAUBLE. 

Since the government improvements at the mouth of the Sauble 
river have commenced, public attention has been strongly turned 
to that locality, and its advantages, particularly for lumbering and 
the shipment of the lumber product, are so apparent that many 
shrewd capitalists have been induced, during the present summer, 
to make investments in the vicinity, and more are daily following 
in their track. 

Sauble river is comparitively straight, always rapid, and being 
supplied by springs at its headwaters, is always full, hence long 
timber can be easily run, lumbering, if it is desirable, can be done 
at any season, and the delays and uncertainties of scant water, 
break ups, and grounding logs from too much freshet, are unknown 
to loc drivers on the Sauble, and lumbering can be commenced a 
month earlier and continued a month later than at most other 
points. 

The situation of Au Sauble, in a commercial point of view, be- 
ing only fifteen miles off the regular track of Chicago bound ves- 
sels, is favorable for low freights, and lumber there is on an average 
worth, for like qualities, $1,50 more per thousand than it is at any 
point on Saginaw river. 



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I 



HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW TALLBY. 65 

From no point on the lakes has the rafting of logs and long 
timber been so successfully carried on as from the Sauble. The 
tug Gr. H. Parker, Capt. Littleton, has contracted to take twenty- 
five rafts of timber, the present season, from Saginaw to Toledo, 
and she is well on with the contract, without having lost a stick as 
et. One of the reasons for this is the favorable situation of Sau- 
>le in relation to Point au Barques, the prime point of danger in 
all Lake Huron towing. A short run from the Sauble, which can 
be made at almost any season by taking advantage of the weather, 
puts a raft beyond the range of reefs on the point, and either in 
shape to go with the wind, or to reach smooth water by making a 
lea under some of the points on the coast. At all events the raft- 
ing of logs and timber from the Sauble is reduced to a matter of 
business, as it is not elsewhere, the risks are known, and the result 
is that logs there bring, as does lumber, $1,50 per thousand feet 
more than at other points. 

Twenty thousand dollars was added last winter to the govern- 
ment appropriation for the mouth of Sauble river, which will be 
ample to make an excellent harbor, and give at all times a depth 
of at least ten feet of water over the bar. Inside there is always 
depth and '^room and verge enough" to float at any time half the 
vessels in the lakes. With 3,000,000,000 feet of pine timber in 
the rear, the most extensive fisheries on the lakes, cedar, hard tim- 
ber and farming lands, and these commercial facilities, if Sauble 
does not make her mark, then are we no prophet. 

DETROIT LUMBER MARKET. 

The remarkable steadiness in the market rates for lumber thus 
far during the season, is probably without precedent in the history 
of the trade, there having been no important fluctuations whatever 
since the opening of the season. In view of the large stocks pre- 
pared for market, the above fact alone affords a striking commen- 
tary upon the healthfulness of the trade. If it were not in a 
«trictly healthy condition, the large stocks got out, coupled with 
ihe somewhat depressed condition of trade generally, would have 
Ibeen followed by a break down in prices. The result should be 
•quite gratifying to all whose fortunes are identified with the lum- 
uer interest, after such a season, with all its gloomy forebodings. 
With the dawn of another year, characterized as it must be with 
more of the elements of general prosperity, the limiber business 
will be all that the most sanguine can expect. The above result is 
not alluded to as a matter that should occasion the least surprise. 
On the contrary, any other issue would have been extraordinary. 
In the first place, lumber could not have been sold at lower rates 
than those prevailing, except at a sacrifice, and although a meek 
submission to losses may have been the order of the day a few 



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56 HI8T0BT or THS SAGINAW YALLST. 

years ago, things are different now, so far as relates to this great 
interest. Witn a steady increase in the demand, and a still more 
steady diminution of the supply, the market is constantly gaining 
inherent strength. There is a growing disposition among capital- 
ists to secure pine lands. Only within the past two or three days 
two eastern men, representing respectively ^200,000 and $300,000 
have been making anxious inquiry on this subject. Among those 
fully versed in the matter, the opinion is universal that all pru- 
dent investments are as certain of a rich reward as at any former 
period. 

There has been more building in Michigan this season than in 
any corresponding period, and me structures are on the whole the 
best ever erected, including a very liberal proportion of churches, 
school houses, stores, manufacturing establishments, etc. These 
facts are very flattering, as indicating the greatly increased pros- 
perity of the State. 

The lumber market is very firm here, and at all the manufac- 
turing points. Only one concern — that of Messrs. Brooks & 
Adams — ^has a very large stock, and there is no great surplus at 
any point. There are no stocks of consequence in the Saginaw 
Valley for sale, the larger shares having been bought ahead. If 
the present rate of demand continues to the end of the season, 
the stocks left on hand will be unprecedentedly light. In Chicago 
the trade is more healthy than was ever before known. This is no 
doubt due in a great measure to the opening up of the Pacific 
Road. There is no change in yard rates. Shingles are in very 
light supply for August. We quote: 

Furst Clear per M $ 45 00 

Second do 42 00 

Third do 33 00 

Bam boards 16 OOalT 00 

Common boards ... 16 00 

Fencing boards 15 00 

Cull boards 8 OOalO 00 

Clear flooring, dressed 36 00a40 00 

Common do 24 00a26 00 

Best siding 20 00 

Commondo 17 00 

Long joists - - 20 00a26 00 

Short joists «nd scantling . , 16 00 

Bill stuff. 18 00a45 00 

Deck plank 36 00 

Shingles, shaved 4 00a 6 00 

Shingles, sawed, A 1 6 00a 6 00 

" " common 3 50a 4 00 

Lath, per 1,000 pieces _ 2 75 

White cedar posts 16a 25 



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HISTOKT OF THE SAGINAW TALLBT. 57 

EAST SAGINAW. 

This young and growing city is situated upon the eastern bank 
of the Saginaw rirer, 20 miles from its mouth, 200 miles from 
Detroit hy water, and 95 by rail via Flint city and Pontiac. Ac- 
cording to the eenfms taken during the present year, (1868,) by 
parties interested, the population is 14.000 souls. Ten years ago, 
it was 2,500, which shows somewhat of an increase during the 
paat decade. 

In the year 1836, the land upon which a portion of the city 
now stands was entered by Br. Charles Little, father of the late 
Col. W. L. P. Little. After awhile it changed hands, and the 
parties owning it, wishing to raise a certain sum of money, turned 
it out to a Detroit bank, as security for the same. In 1849, Nor- 
man Little, Esq., agent for Hoyt & Co. of New York city, pur- 
chased the site of thci bank in question, with the intention of start- 
ing a village there. A short distance below where the Flint & 
Pere Marquette railroad depot is now located, a small clearing had 
been made by Hon. G. D. Williams of Saginaw City, a few yearB 
before, which was called "the farm." This farm was purchased by 
Mr. Little about this time, for agricultural purposes, while only 
that portion purchased of the bank was designed for village lots. 
Near where now stands the Bancroft House, one of the finest 
buildings in northern Michigan, a solitary log cabin, with its shak^ 
covered roof, stood in 1849, shut in by the greenwoods upon three 
sides, while the broad Saginaw rolled in primitive beauty before 
the door. The cabin was built by the American Fur Company^ 
many years before, and at the time of which we speak, was occu- 
pied by Capt. Leon Snay, a French hunter and trapper. During 
the year 1835, a small clearing had been made in the neighbor- 
hood of where Bristol street now commences, and a large steam 
mill, of which we have previously spoken, was built, together with 
an office, boarding house, and a few board shanties, while upon a 
gentle eminence, commanding a fine view of Saginaw City and the 
river, stood the well remembered and we might say storied " Halls 
of the Montezumas," thus named by the proprietor, Curtis Emer- 



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* 58 HX9T0BT Of THB SAGINAW TALLBY. 

SOD, Esq., he having preyiously, in a facetious moment, dabbed the 
little hamlet Buena Yista, by which name that portion of East 
Saginaw is still known by many. 

When, howeyer, in 1850, the yillage of East Saginaw was start- 
ed, at a point one mile below, the two locations were by no means 
considered identical. After Norman Little eonceiyed the idea of 
locating a town upon the east side of the river, the job of chop- 
ping and logging sufficient territory for the purpose was let to two 
brothers, Seth & Thomas Willey, the former being still a resident 
here. When a small space had been cleared on Water street, near 
the foot of Genessee street, a steam saw-mill, a boarding house, an 
office, a rough building called " the store," and a bam, were erect- 
ed, which, with a few little shanties, formed the nucleus of the 
large and rapidly increasing city of East Saginaw. On the first 
day of May, 1850, a town meeting was called at the ''Hall of the 
Montezumas,'' for the purpose of organizing the township of Bue- 
na Vista, This, be it remembered, was the first election and 
meeting of the kind held in the town. Stephen Little, Esq., was 
chosen chairman, Messrs. Gkorge Oliver and A. K. Penny, inspect- 
ors of the election, and Alfred M. Hoyt, clerk. Curtis Emerson 
was elected supervisor ; G. W. Grant, town clerk; Stephen Little, 
town treasurer; Andrew Grant, George Oliver and Stephen Little, 
juatiees of the peace. The whole number of votes cast, including 
those of actual settlers, laborers, etc., were nineteen, all told. We 
may well imagine that the duties of the inspectors of the election 
were not very onerous or arduous upon that occasion. 

After the permanent organization of the town, the little hand- 
ful of settlers became sensible ihat they were entirely shut out 
from the world, as it were, their only means of egress being by 
water to Detroit, or the old territorial road which led out of Sag- 
inaw City, to which place they were obliged to go to be ''let out.' 
The country around East Saginaw being at that time considered 
low and wet, the question. How are we to have roads? was one of 
considerable importance. But Norman Little was alive to any 
emergency that might arise; his fortunes he had cast here, and 



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HI8T0RT 07 THS SAGINAW YALLET. 69 

here he proposed to make his h(Hne, come what might. So he told 
tlie people that the only direct way of getldng out of the wilder- 
ness was to build a plank road. Many shrugged their shouldars, 
shook their heads, and said it was all well enough to talk about plank 
roads and that sort of things, but who was to build them? Others 
said it was useless to think of building a plank road through such 
a low country as we had between this point and the '' Bend of the 
Cass, where Mr. Little proposed to hare it intersect the territorial 
road. Said he, " Gentlemen, I'll arrange this matter myself, if 
youll only be patient, for we must certainly have some means of 
getting to Flint besides first going to Saginaw City." He thercn 
fore applied to the Legislature for a charter to build a plank road 
from a point on Saginaw riyer, containing a saw mill and a few 
shanties — which was as yet with scarcely a name, but which he 
called East Saginaw — to Flint, a little village thirty-two mile» 
distant. When his application was presented, it met with violent 
opposition from certain old fogies, who considered the scheme a 
visionary one. By continual perseverance, however, he succeeded, 
''for," said they, 'Hhere certainly can be no harm in voting for a> 
charter, because it will never amount to anjrthing, one way or the 
other; besides, we will get rid of this man's importunities. The 
idea of building a plank road through that swampy country, is ab^ 
surd; might as well think of building one to the moon!" It was, 
nevertheless, built, and in good traveling order in less than two 
years from the time of applying for the charter. 

While the plank road question was pending, business by no 
means stood still in the "little clearing" by the river. Under the 
supervision of Mr. Little, a town was arising as if by magic, out 
of the forest, and the scene that presented itself was one of busy 
life and animation. A large and splendid flouring mill was erected 
and finished upon the bank of the river; soon after, an extensive 
warehouse with a substantial dock was built, and opposite, a fine, 
three-story, frame hotel, called the Irving House, sprung up about 
the same time. The plank road being now completed, a postal 
route was opened to Flint, a post-office established, and a four- 



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60 HISTOBY OF THE SAGINAW VALLBT. 

horse stagecoach brought a daily mail, while every day the cry was, 
"Still they come," for a perfect flood of emigration began to pour 
in, and the demand for village property became clamorous. Vessels 
and steamers began to visit the town; then came a demand for 
more docks. In every direction saw mills began to be visible, and 
the lumber trade grew and thrived. Although absorbed in busi- 
ness, the people were not unmindful of religions forms and cere- 
monies, if not taking a deeper interest in their souls' salvaticm, for 
when an occasional preacher, hearing of the unprovided spiritual 
condition of this little town, would stray off here, the rough board 
cabin standing near where the foot of G^iessee street bridge now 
is, would be thrown open to him, and an attentive half-dozen hear- 
ers, seated upon wooden benches, would give respectful audience. 
Before the village had attained to its third year, it had so far 
iaranscended its original limits that it was found necessary to add 
to its territory, so the "old farm" was crowded out of town, and 
in its place more lots were surveyed out and eagerly taken up. 
Great inducements were offered to all who desired to locate here. 
Lots in what are now the best and most desirable business locations 
in the city, were then offered for from $25 to $50 per lot, the pur- 
•chaser having his own time to pay for them. Occasionally an old 
fogy, attracted hither by the "excitement," as it was by some 
termed, would exclaim, as he viewed the busy scene, and heard the 
rattling of machinery and the sound of the hammer and the saw 
in every direction, "Bahl — all excitement — mushroom growth — 
soon die away, and then where will be all the money invested here ? 
Bocks and mills will soon rot away. Why, how can it be other- 
wise? There's no country around to support, it for it's all wilder- 
ness. Guess 111 not risk my money here." And the old gentle- 
man, though really having an eye to business, but "couldn't see it" 
here, upon a sufficiently solid basis, would retire to his room to 
•dream of "smash-ups" and large sums of money foolishly expend- 
ed and lost in new town speculations, etc. 

Business, however, continued to increase, inhabitants to flock in, 
and houses to spring up almost mysteriously, yet the anticipated 
iSmash-up and reaction came not. 



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I 

HISTORY or TUB SAOINAW VALLSY. 61 

In the year 1852, the writer established a select school in a 
amall building located on the comer of Water and Hoyt streets. 
There was no other school in the town at that time. The whole 
number of scholars in attendance was about eighty, all of whom — 
those that are now living — are grown up men and women, and en- 
.gaged in the various avocations of life. Some are located here; 
others in distant lands; some are sleeping in their graves. Many 
pleasant memories are associated in the writer's mind, with those 
•days. During recess, the children would gather the wild flowers 
that grew abundantly in the green woods, a few rods from the 
flohool house door, and bring them as peace offerings to their teach- 
er, when they happened to be a little tardy after the ringing of the 
l>ell calling them to their books. 

The same year, the " old academy," on the comer of Jeflferson 
and Hoyt streets, was built, at a cost of $15,000. At that time 
the only manner of crossing the bayou to the school house was by 
means of a few boards or plank made into a sort of foot-bridge^ 
*which was anything but safe. When the water filled the bayou, 
both teachers and scholars who lived upon the opposite side, (in 
fact, but very few people resided on the east side then,) were 
obliged to be ferried over, or make a grand detour of Genessee 
49treet plank road. Unlike any other village, East Saginaw never 
iiad her district school. With a spirit strictly in keeping with the 
^enterprise and thrift of the town, the first public institution of 
learning was a graded school, with all the appurtenances of a well 
Tegulated educational establishment. A competent principal, with 
4i full corps of teachers, opened a school of three hundred scholars, 
mth its various departments, from the primary to the higher 
•classes. 

After the erection of the school building, divine service was 
lield here occasionally, for up to this year (1852) no church organ- 
ization had as yet been eflFected in the village. All religious de- 
nominations, irrespective of creed or church forms, worshiped 
together. This year, however, the Methodist Episcopal church 
was organized, with a nucleus of six members, and Bev. A. C. 



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62 BISTORT 07 THE 8A0INAW YALLBT. 

Shaw msLB sent here as its pastor. During the administration of 
Mr. Shaw, the first church edifice (Methodist) was erected. It 
stands on the comer of Washington and German streets, quite near 
the business heart of the «ity, although when built it was thought 
to be far from it, and rather in a retired situation. It is at pres* 
ent used by the Presbyterian society as a place of worship. This 
house was built by subscriptions and contributions from our citi- 
zens and friends abroad. 

In the early part of the summer of 1854, a destructive fire 
broke out in town, which destroyed the sawmill before spoken of, 
a large hotel, and several dwelling houses, all of which were near 
the business portion of the new town. In addition to the above 
losses, over three million feet of pine lumber about the mill was 
destroyed, together with considerable dock. This was a terrible 
blow for our infant village. Scarcely had the work of reparation 
commenced, when another fearful and far more destructive fire than 
the first broke out in the very business centre of the place, laying 
waste about two entire blocks of buildings, including the Irving 
House, an extensive wholesale warehouse and dock, and several 
grocery establishments and dwelling houses. This fire was indeed 
looked upon as a public calamity. For awhile everything seemed 
to stand aghast, and men looked at each other in bewilderment, 
but not in despair. Before the embers had fairly ceased smoking^ 
workmen were employed in clearing away the rubbisb, and not 
many months elapsed ere a fine brick block reared its imposing 
front phoenix-like from the ashes of the Irving House, and it was 
not long before all traces of the fire were obliterated, and the 
burnt district covered with dwellings and places of business. The 
large warehouse, containing a store, which was among the destroy- 
ed property, was occupied by Col. W. L. P. Little & Co., and al- 
though the population here did not exceed 300 souls at that time, 
their sales amounted the first year to $90,000, and the second year 
to $260,000. This perhaps seems incredible, but it must be re- 
membered that Saginaw City, Lower Saginaw, and the whole 



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ni8T0BT OV THB SAQINAW TALLEY. 63 

furming oountry on the Tittabawassee, Flint and Gass rivers were 
in part supplied with trade from this establishment, which was 
complete, in all its details. 

Among those who first located here, and engaged in business, 
are the names of Moses B. Hess and his brother George, Menzo 
Stevens, C. W. Grant, Col. W. L. P. Little, W. F. Glasby, Curtis 
Smerson, S. W. Yawkey, Alexander English, John Elseffer, Seth 
and Thomas Willey, A. Ferguson and F. H. Koehler. These gen- 
tlemen, with the exception of three, still reside here, and are well 
to do in the world — ^the result of foresight and business capabili- 
tio8. The first lawyers were Charles Hunt, W. L. Webber, and 
J. L, T. Fox. 

E. N. Davenport established a ferry at the foot of Genessee 
street, in 1851, which consbted of a small row boat and a scow, 
propelled by muscle and poles. A few years later, the facilities 
were much increased by stretching a rope across the river, connect- 
ing with the scow by pulleys, and adding another row boat or two. 

THE PRESS. 

During the year 1853, two gentlemen, F« A. Williamson and A. 
J. Mason, came here for the avowed purpose of establishing a 
new^aper among us, provided they could obtain the necessary as- 
.BiBtance, they being poor men. With their usual public spirit, our 
•oitisens opened their hearts and purses, and shortly after, a neat 
looking weekly newspaper, edited with tolerable ability, made its 
Appearance, called '^ The Saginaw Enterprise.'' For awhile it pros- 
pered, but the first year or two of newspaper life being at best an 
up-hill business, it began to show signs of premature decay, and 
At the end of twelve months it languished, and would make its ap- 
pearance only occasionally. Not long after. Perry Joslin, Esq., 
purchased the office, and from that time forward it was a live con- 
cern. In 1864, Mr. Francis Parth, who by the way has been con- 
nected with the Enterprise office since it first started, entered into 
partnership with Mr. Joslin, in the newspaper and job printing 
business. The following year, Col. C, V. Deland became a partner 
in the concern. In September of the same year, the paper was 



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64 HISTORY OP THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 

gularged, and a daily started in connection with the weekly. In 
the year 1866 the office was conrerted into a stock concern, with a 
capital of $25,000. C. V. DeLand was editor in chief, T. B. Fox, 
local, and A. W. Abbey, business manager. Its present editor is 
W. R. Bates, its local, C. B. Headly, and business manager, O. F. 
Fish. 

In July, 1859, George F. Lewis started the Courier, a weekly 
paper. In 1863 the office was replenished wiUi new material, and 
the paper enlarged,- Major E. "W. Lyon entering the concern as a 
partner. In 1868 the Daily Courier was started, and runs in con- 
nection with the weekly. The publishers and pro]prietors are 
George F. Lewis, B. M. Thompson, E. W. Lyon and Joseph 
Seaman. 

A German newspaper called the Saginaw Zeitung, has just been 
started here. 

PUBLIC SCHOOLS. 

Considerable attention has been paid here to the education of 
children, our school system being perhaps as near perfect as it can 
be. There are within the city limits, four schools, all under the 
direction of a school board, namely, the Central, the First Ward, 
the Hoyt Street, and the Wadsworth primary schools. 

THE CENTRAL SCHOOL 

Occupies one of the finest brick edifices in the State, and is 
located on German street, midway between Clay and Rockwell 
streets. At present there are seven departments — the High School, 
Grammar, Intermediate, and four primary departments. There 
are about six hundred scholars in attendance, and ten teachers. 

THE CARROL STREET SCHOOL 

Is taught in a new and elegant structure, located on the comer 
of Carrol and Warren streets. It has one Intermediate and three 
Primary departments, and accommodates about three hundred and 
fifty pupils, taught by five teachers. 



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HIS^RT OF THB SAGINAW TALLET. 65 

HOTT 8TIUBXT SCHOOL 

Upon the corner of Hoyt and Jefferson streets, is kept in what 
is known as the old "academy building," and contains four depart- 
ments^-^one Intermediate and three Primary. About three hun- 
dred pupils attend this school, in charge of four teachers. 

WADSWOBTH PRIMARY SCHOOL 

Is taught in a small building on the comer of Genessee street 
and Ckrman Colony road. This school has three Primary grades 
of fifty or sizty scholars, and b taught by one teacher. 

The schools are under the general superintendence of Professor 
J. Estabrook. 

The members of the present Board of Education are as fol- 
lows: 

Edwin Aiken. President; A. P. Brewer, J. S. Estabrook, 0. 0. 
Garrison, G. W. Merrill, Leand Simoneau, Inspectors; George 
Maurer, Secretary. 

Standing Gommittexs for 1868-*69. — Teachers and School 
Books-^. S. Estabrook, G. W. Merrill, L. Simoneau. School 
Houses — L. Simoneau, G. W. Merrill, C. 0. Garrison. Schools — 
A. P. Brewer, J. S. Estabrook, G. W. Merrill. Auditing— G. W. 
Merrill, A. P. Brewer, C. 0. Garrison. 

The Germania Society carry on a school at present, on North 
3d street, containing three departments, with over two hundred 
pupils, and conducted by a principal and two teachers. The school 
is under the control of the Society Board. C. Watz is PrincipaL 
Many branches are taught girls here, unknown to common schools,, 
such as knitting, sewing, gymnastics, etc. Particular attention i& 
paid to singing, in which, in many respects, the G^jrman children 
excel the American. A large and elegant brick school edifice will 
soon be built by the Society, on Tuscola street, between Third and 
Fourth streets, which will cost $18,000. The Germans are not to 
be outdone in matters pertaining to the education of their children. 
As citizens we have reason to feel proud of them. 



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66 HISTORY OF THE SAOINAW VALLEY. 

CHURCHES. 

During the year 1868, four new and beautiful church edifices 
were completed in this city: the Congregational,at a cost of $60,000; 
the Methodist Episcopal, $50,000; First Baptist, $40,000; (Ger- 
man Methodist, $8,000. The following church directory speaks 
for itself : 

CHURCH DIRECTORY. 

Episcopal — St. Paul's Church. Organized Feb. 2, 1864. Ser- 
vice at 10 J a. m. and 7 p. ,m. Rev. George B. Eastman, rector. 

Unitarian — Penney's Hall, corner of Genessee and Franklin 
streets. Rev. J. F. Walker, pastor. Services at lOi o'clock a. 
m., and 7 in the evening. 

Congregational — Comer of JeflFerson and Hayden streets. Rev. 
J. G. W. Cowles, pastor. Services at 10 1-2 o'clock, a. m., and 
7 3-4 p. m. Organized Sept. 8, 1857. 

Presbyterian— Old M. E. Church, comer German and Wash- 
ington streets. Preaching morning and evening, at usual hours. 

Methodist Episcopal — JeflFerson street. Rev. J, H, McCarty. 
Services morning and evening, at usual hours. Organised 1852. 

First Baptist — New brick church, comer JeflFerson and Geman 
streets. Rev. H. L. Morehouse, pastor. Services at the usual 
hours, morning and evening. Organized 1858. 

Central Baptist — Corner of Washington and German streets. 
Rev. J. E. Vining, pastor. 

Catholic — Hoyt street. Service at the usual hours. F. Yan- 
derbom, pastor. 

Union Mission School — Bellevue Hall every Sunday p. m., at 
4 o'clock. 

German Lutheran Church — Corner of German and Second 
streets. Preaching at 10 1-2 a. m., and 1 1-2 and 7 o'clock p. m. 
Hev. Conrad Volz, pastor. 

Universalist — Services in the morning, at Good Templar's 
Hall, at 10 1-0 o'clock. Services conducted by Rev. C. P. Nash 
of Bay City. 

German M. E. Church — ^Warren between Lapeer and Tuscola 
streets. Rev. Gustavus Bertram, pastor. Services at 10 1-2 a. 
m., and 7 1-2 p. m. 

Zion Baptist (colored) Walker, pastor. Meetings in old 

Union Hall, Jefferson street. 



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HI8T0BY OT THE SAQINAW YALLET. 67 

PUBLIC HALL8. 

There are four public halls for leoturee, concerts, theatres, etc., 
besides Masonic and Odd Fellows Hall, namely: Irving Hall, 
Jackson Hall, Penney Hall, and Good Templar's Hall. The two 
first are commodious, and elegantly finished, being furnished with 
extensive stages, scenery, dressing rooms, and all the appurtenan- 
ces of first-class theatres. Either one will comfortably seat 1,000 
persons and upwards. Central Market Building, on the comer of 
Genessee and Cass streets, recently erected by Antony Schmitz 
is a beautiful and imposing structure, 60 by 142 feet, and two sto- 
ries in height, designed as a city market place, being furnished 
with stalls and other conveniences for business. 

MASONIC. 

The Saginaw Lodge No. 77, obtained its charter from the Grand 
Lodge in the year 1856, and was the first one formed in the Sagi- 
naw Valley. The fraternity have a fine hall, 32 by 60 feet, well 
furnished and lighted with gas. 

Saginaw VaUey Chapter No. 31 Royal Arch Masons was char- 
tered Jan. 12, 1864, and holds its meetings upon the first Thurs- 
day of every month. 

ODD FELLOWS. 

0-Saw-Wa-Bon Lodge No. 14, was instituted June 2d, 1865. 
As the town at that time was small, and the business men limited^ 
the lodge did not flourish, or meet the success it really merited ; 
so after a brief, struggling existence of nearly two years, the or- 
ganisation cieased to exist here. During the year 1865, just ten 
. years from the time of its first organization, the lodge was rein- 
stated, and is now one of the first lodges in the State. 

An encampment called the Valley Encampment No. 20, was in- 
stituted here May 10, 1866, and meets in Odd Fellows Hall, on 
the first and third Wednesday of each month. 

GOOD TEMPLABS. 

A lodge of this order, numbering upwards of two hundred 
members, meets every Monday evening, at the Good Templars 
Hall. It was instituted Nov. 24, 1866, and is in a flourishing con- 
diti<Hi. 



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68 HISTOEY OP THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 

AMEBICAN PBOTESTANT ASSOCIATION. 

East Saginaw Lodge No. 1 was organized November, 1866, with 
seven charter members. It now numbers one hundred and fifty in 
good standing. A chapter has also been established here, in con- 
nection with the above lodge. 

YOUNO men's association. 

This Association, which now numbers four hundred members, 
with a steady increase^ was organized Aug. 18, 1865. It is under 
the management of an efficient board, elected annually by its 
members. Every winter an interesting coufse of lectures is pro- 
vided, the very best speakers being engaged. Any resident of the 
county above the age of eighteen years, is eligible to membership. 
An initiation fee of two dollars is required, and also two dollars 
annually, as dues. The Association has an extensive and well 
selected library, to which every member has free adcess. Afi the 
Society own a building lot, it is quite likely that ere long it wiU 
erect a structure that will be an ornament to the city, in which to 
meet. 

VIBE DEPABTMENT. 

The city has a well organized fire department, consisting of a 
rotary steamer, with hose cart, and about two thousand feet of 
rubber hose, a span of powerful horsesi always in harness and 
Teady for action at a moment's notice; also three hand engines , 
with hose carts, together with a hook and ladder company, well 
manned and equipped. The new ^3gine house on the comer of 
•German and Cass streets, is built of brick, after an elegant de* 
^ign, is two stories high, with a lofty tower, in which is placed a 
£ne fire bell. The engineer with his family resides in the upper 
portion of the building, and is obliged to be always on hand, or 
furnish an able substitute during his absence. 

BAST SAGINAW CITY STBSET BAILWAY. 

Company organized Nov. 10, 1864. Road built to South Sagi 
naw, a distance of three miles, the following April. The company 
at present own seven cars, three of which run regularly every 



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HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW TALLIY. 69 

twenty mmutes, the entire length of the road. Present officers, 
Wm. J. Bartow, President and Superintendent; M. B. Hess, 
Treasurer, and T. E. Morris, Secretary. 

BAST SAGINAW GAS COMPANY. 

Organized May 23, 1863. Original capital $50,000, but in Oc- 
tober, 1866, it was increased to $150,000. Henry Day, President; 
Wm. Eemsen, J. K. Bose and J. L. Ketcham, Directors; J. L. 
Ketcham, Treasurer and Superintendent. This company has laid, 
np to the present time, upwards of eight miles of main pipe, 
^his season the city is to be furnished with street lamps. 

lOB SSTABLIBHMENt. 

This establishment commenced operations here in 1862. The 
first year two men could do all the work of supplying ice, with two 
one-horse wagons. At that time, 300 tons were made use of. 
Now 5,000 tons are used, and eleven men, with eight wagons, are 
busily engaged distributing ice during the summer season. M. C. 
Mower is proprietor and manager. 

SAGINAW RITEB BBIDGB COMPANY. 

This company was organized January 21, 1863, and built, the 
following year, what is known as the Genessee street bridge, 
which spans the river from this point. It ia over 700 feet ia 
length, and is furnished with a draw to allow vessels and other 
crafts to pass through. Cost, $50,000. 

The Bristol street bridge was built shortly after the other one, 
and by the same company, after the same patent. This is consid- 
€rable longer than the first, and has two draws. 

East Saginaw was incorporated as a village during the year 
1855, and the following officers under the incorporation act were 
elected:— President of the Ooundl, Norman Little; Kecorder, 
Charles B. Mott; Trustees, W. L- P. Little, David Lyon, J. E. 
Voorhies, C. M. Curtis, A. H. Mershon; Assessors, F. R. Cope- 
land, W. F. Glasby; Treasurer, S. C. Beach; Marshal, A. L. 
Rankin. 



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70 HISTORT OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 

In the year 1859 it received a city cliarter, and was duly incor- 
porated under its provisions. The following were the first city 
officers elected: — Mayor, W. L. P. Little; Recorder, D. W. C» 
Crage; Controller, Wm. J. Bartow; Treasurer, James F. Brown; 
Marshal, F. A. Curtis; Aldermen, C. B. Mott, John S. Esta- 
brook, Alexander Ferguson, W. F. Glasby, G. W. Wilcox; City 
Constable, A. L. Rankin; School Inspectors, Asahel Disbrow, 
C. B. Jones, John J. Wheeler, G. J. Dorr, Volusin Bude, S. B. 
Knapp. 

The present city officers are as follows: — Mayor, James li. 
Ketcham; Recorder, Charles H. Camp; Treasurer, Albert R, 
WedthoflF; Controller, C. V. DeLand; Marshal, Gilbert F. Chan- 
dler; Aldermen — ^first ward, Martin Smith, F. W. Carlisle, B. B. 
Buckhout ; second ward, Peter Guisler, G, W. Morley, William 
Zimmerman ; third ward, A. B. Wood, J. G. Owen, L. H. East- 
man. Justices of the Peace, Hezekiah Miller, G. A. Flanders^ 
E. A. Sturtevant. Sewer Commissioners, Noah C. Richardson, 
Egbert Ten Eyck, Volusin Bude. Cemetery Commissioners, 
Morgan L. Gage, Chester B. Jones, Charles V. DeLand. Street 
Commissioner, E. A. Moore. 

A portion of the principal business streets are being paved this 
season, with the Nicholson pavement. A splendid, system of sew* 
erage drains the city, and the bayous that formerly were so ob- 
noxious to the eye and so detrimental to health, are both drained 
and filled up, and the most stringent measures have been adopted 
to insure the good health of the city* An efficient police orgaa- 
ization, under the metropolitan system, has been formed, and in all 
its municipal regulations this city to-day stands A number 1. 

SOUTH SAGINAW. 

Sometime during the year 1848, A. K. Penney located the land 
upon which a large portion of this village is situated, and com- 
menced working it aB a feum, in which he was highly successM, 
being a practical farmer. In 1858 William Gallagher bought him 
out, and removed there with his family the same year. After the 
discovery of salt in the Saginaw Valley, Mr. Gallagher conceived 



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HISTOKY or THE SAOINAW VALLEY. 71 

the happy idea of laying out a town here, and in less than a year 
from that time a fine village was under way. Mills and salt works 
were erected, docks built, and business was the order of the day. 
In 1864 the East Saginaw Street Railway completed its terminus 
here, thus almost identifying this place with East Saginaw. This 
Tillage, until quite recently, was known as Salina, but under its 
incorporation charter it was changed to South Saginaw. The 
population is about 2,500 souls. It has two or three church or- 
ganizations and one church edifice, also a fine graded school, con- 
ducted under the union principle, with 600 scholars and seven 
teachers. The school building is a fine structure, costing $10,000. 

ZILWAUKEE. 

This village contains about 500 inhabitants, and is located upon 
the Saginaw river, seven miles below Saginaw City. The Jackson 
Lansing & Saginaw railroad passes directly through the village. 
The land upon which the town stands was entered by C. Fitzhugh, 
in the year 1835. In 1847, Daniel Johnson built a steam saw 
mill here, without, however, any intention on his part at diat time 
<ef making this anything more than simply a lumbering point. 
Subsequently, circumstances induced him to locate a village here, 
and under his auspices quite a flourishing town arose, and business 
assumed a lively aspect. The passage of the railroad through the 
-town last season, gave a new impulse to trade. The Messrs. Priggs 
Are extensively engaged in the manufacture of salt here, under the 
€hapin system; and Bust, Eaton &, Co., also J. H. Jerome, have 
two or three sawmills in active operation. Although the land ap- 
pears rather low in the immediate vicinity, the existence of several 
cultivated and fruit growing fimns a short distance back, prove the 
fact that the soil is peculiarly adapted to agricultural purposes. 
With its commercial advantages, this must one day be considerable 
of a town. 

CARBOLLTON. 

This place is located opposite East Saginaw, and is a point of 
much interest to lumber and salt manufacturers, who have invested 
quite extensively here. The land upon which Carrollton proper is 



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72 HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLET. 

located, was entered by Judge Carroll, about tbe year 1835, we 
tbink, but it was not until after salt was discovered bere tliat it 
aspired to muob distinction as a village. Tbe long line of bouses^ 
mills, salt blocks, etc., eommencing at tbe west end of Gbnessee 
street bridge, and usually known as Florence, is really but a part 
and parcel of tbe village of Carrollton, it being in tbe same town- 
sbip. Population about 600. Many doing business bere, reside 
elsewbere. 

QBRMAN SSTTLEMENTS. 

Tbere are several flourisbing German settlements in tbe valley^ 
wbicb are composed of tbe best industrial element in tbe world. 
Frankenmutb, located in town 11 n., of range 6 e., and in tbe 
beart of a splendid fEtrming district, contabs over 1,200 souls. 
Tbis townsbip was settled in 1846, by a few Germans, wbo, witb 
tbeir pastor, tbe Bev. Gkorge Grainer, commenced clearing tbe 
land and erec^g dwellings, a Lutberan cburcb and a scboolbouse. 
Tbey also made bridges, and roads, and improvements generally. 
Tbe townsbip is one of tbe best in tbe valley, and its selection 
evinces at once tbe good taste and judgment of tbose wbo selected 
it. It contains, aside from its neat, tasty dwellings and outbouses, 
two scboolbouses, two cburobes, two stores, postoffice, sawmills^ 
sbops, etc. 

Frankenlust, Frankentrost, Amelete, Blumfield, Peerfield and 
Frankenbilf are all large, flourisbii^ German settlements. Tb^e 
settlements contain cbiurcbes and scbools, and are peopled witb an 
intelligent and industrious class of Germans, most of wbom bave 
become wcaltby by tbeir economical babits and tbeir skill in tilling 
tbe soil. Everytbing about tbese settl^nents ezbibits signs of 
tbrift, and it is a matter of great congratulation to see tbe acces- 
sion to our population composed of so industrious a class. 

BBinOEPOBT CENTRE. 

Tbis is a tbriving little village, formerly better known as tbe 
" Bend of tbe Gass," being pleasantly located upon tbe Cass river, 
about six miles from East Sa^aw; also upon tbe Saginaw and 
Flint plank road, on tbe line of tbe Flint & Pere Marquette rail- 



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HI8T0BT <» TBI 8A0INAW TALLBT. 73 

road« It contains about 500 inhabitants, and is in the midst of a 
splendid farming oonntry, which is being finely improved. In the 
year 1884, G. A. Lull raised the first crop of wheat in the coxmty, 
between here and Saginaw City, and also introduced the first she^ 
here, from whose wool Mrs. Lull made the first web of cloth man- 
ufEiotured in ike Saginaw Valley. The village contains two hotels, 
three stores, three shingle mills and a broom factory. It has two 
churches, and a fine brick school house upon the union system. 
Within a few years this village has visibly improved, and will 
probably one day be a large fiurming town. Salt is also manufac- 
tured here, in limited quantities. 

ST. GHABLXS. 

This village, containing about 1,000 inhabitants, is situated at 
the forks of Bad river, eighteen miles above Saginaw City. It is 
located on tiie line of the Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw railroad, 
and is considerable of a lumber point. The river to this place is 
also navigable for small steamers, which, until the opening of the 
above railroad, did a thriving business. The land in the immedi- 
ate vicinity of the town is rather low, yet very arable and produc- 
tive. Back, however, it is more rolling in places, and well adapted 
to agricultural purposes. Since the completion of the railroad,, 
the Tillage has improved wonderfully, and will without doubt, at 
no distant day, be a place of considerable note. The country 
around it is being rapidly settled, and when the lumber shall have 
been exhausted in this region, the products of the farm, together 
with the manufactories that will necessarily arise, will usurp its 
trade, and help maintain the credit of the Saginaw country as a 
farming section. 

CHESANING. 

This village, which is situated upon the banks of the Shiawassee 
river, about twenty miles above Sa^aw City, contains a pop- 
ulation of 1000 souls. The greater portion of the land tipon 
which the village is located, was entered by different parties in; 
1854, under the Graduation Act Chesaning was detached frouL 



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74 HISTOET OF THE SAGINAW VALLET. 

the township of Northampton, and organized in the year 1849. 
From the north line of this village to Owosso, a distance of about 
sixteen miles, the Shiawassee river has a sufficient fall to furnish 
a water power or mill site every three miles. The village derives 
its name from a large stone or boulder found in its vicinity, and 
which in the Indian dialect is Ohesaning. The country around 
this town is well adapted to farming purposes. In some places 
back from the river, the land is rolling, with here and there a run* 
ning brook. Wheat has been raised in this vicinity with the best 
success. The Jackson, Lansing &> Saginaw railroad passes through 
the town. The place contains two good hotels, four stores, one 
grist mill, and a planing mill. It is also quite a lumbering point. 
This town presents many inducements to those wishing to locate 
in a thriving young place. 

RAILROADS. 

The Saginaw Valley, which but a few short years since had no 
means of ingress or egress save those afforded by the river and one 
plank road, now has its echoes awakened by rushing locomotives, 
and trains of railroad cars, on at least three roads, two of which 
completely sandwich the Saginaw river, aud another crosses it. 
The roads in active operation are the Flint & Pere Marquette, 
Bay City & East Saginaw, and the Jackson, Lansing & Saginaw. 
These railroads afford us a safe and easy transit to any portion of 
ihe country, connecting, of course, with other railways all over the 
United States. The Flint & Pere Marquette road, which has 
T>een continued to about seven miles above Midland City, will ere 
long be extended to the Muskegon river, a distance of about fifty 
miles from Midland. This link will open up a thoroughfare for a 
large tract of territory heretofore almost inaccessible, and afford 
means of immediate intercommunication with the rich and thriving 
Talley of the Muskegon. 

The extension of the Jackson, Lansing &, Saginaw railroad from 
Weuona, its present terminus, to Mackinaw, has been decided on, 
and the route surveyed out. The work on it will undoubtedly be 
pushed forward to completion at the earliest day practicable. 



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HIBTORT OF TBB SAGINAW TALLET. 75 

In regard to the extension of this road at the other end of the 

route to Fort Wayne, Indiana, the Saginaw Enterprise, says: 

The prospect of building a railroad connecting ike Saginaw 
Valley with the south, or a north and south line running through 
the Saginaw Valley, look more favorable at the present time than 
ever before. A short time after the visit of Mr. L'Homedieu, 
President of several railroads centering at Cincinnati, railroad 
meetings were held at Jackson and elsewhere, for the purpose of 
considering the project of extending the J. L. & S. K. K. to Fort 
Wayne, and thence to connect with Cincinnati. At Jackson a 
committee was appointed to raise $80,000 towards the project by 
subscription. Last Saturday evening a meeting was held at Jack- 
son, when the committee reported that $60,000 of the $80,000 had 
already been subscribed. Mr. H. H. Smith, Superintendent of the 
J. L. &, 8. Bailroad, stated that a company had been formed at 
Fort Wayne to build a road to the State Ime, in the direction of 
Jackson ; that $75,000 had been subscribed in the city of Fort 
Wayne alone ; that it was proposed to form a company to build a 
road from Jackson, to intersect with theirs at the State line, and 
that as soon as $200,000 were subscribed along the line of the 
route in Michigan, the two companies would be consolidated, and 
that within sixty days from the time the $80,000 was raised in 
Jackson, the balance of the $200,000 could be raised along the 
line, and work commenced. Mr. Woodward, the engineer, stated 
that he had surveyed a distance of 30 1-2 miles on one route, and 
reported the people along the line as very anxious that the road 
be built, and ready^ to subscribe liberally. Several gentlemen rep- 
resenting points along she proposed line were present, and repre-^ 
sented that the people were ready and anxious to support the pro- 
ject. 

At Cincinnati we learn of but little being done, although the 
line is being prominently discussed. The Eailroad Record, a pa- 
per published in Cincinnati, and several other journals, are agita- 
ting the subject. The Record proposes a through line from Flor- 
ida to Mackinaw, through Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia, but 
this project is one of time, and more visionary than otherwise. In 
each proiect the Saginaw Valley and Northern Michi^n are con- 
spicuously mentioned, and its importance to the south. The Ft. 
Wayne route, however, seems to be a settled fact. The line has- 
been mostly surveyed, and an amount of money nearly sufficient, 
to commence work subscribed. The people want it, and the neces- 
sities of the country seem to demand it. While the Saginaw Val- 
ley will be as greatly benefitted as any other part of the State, she? 
is not called upon to subscribe. 



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76 HISTOBT OF THB SAGINAW VALLEY. 

The distance saved from this Valley to Ginoinnati by this route 
is about 80 miles. The Monroe, Wajnae & Hollj Railroad, which 
will connect with the Flint &> Pere Marquette road at Holly is 
being rapidly pushed forward. This route will save us a distance 
of about 30 miles in going to Cincinnati. 

A new road called the East Saginaw and Port Huron railroad^ 
will soon be commenced, the route having been surveyed out, 
an able report of the survey has been submitted and published by 
Engineer S. G-. Ooddard. This road, which will commence at the 
east line of the city of East Saginaw, near Jayne street, will inter- 
sect the Grand Trunk road about three miles from Port Huron, 
unless it indeed connects with it at that point This railroad 
passes through some of the best farming lands in the State, and 
when completed, will open up a new and desirable route to the 
east from the Saginaw Valley, 

One or two other railroad projects are under consideration, in 
which the Saginaw Valley is interested, and which time will cer- 
iAu^Lj develope. 

I^LANK BOADS. 

The following plank roads radiate from the Saginaw Valley : — 
Saginaw & G-enessee plank road, being the first road of the kind 
in the valley, and built in 1851. For many years this was our 
^nly road "through the woods," as a trip to Flint was then termed. 
East Saginaw & Vassar plank road, length nineteen and a half 
miles. East Saginaw &, Watrousville plank road, length about 
twenty miles. The above roads all have their starting point from 
East Saginaw. The Saginaw & Gratiot plank road commences at 
Saginaw City, and is now being rapidly pushed forward. Its 
length will be thirty-six miles. The Bay City & Junction plank 
joad joins the Watrousville road about twelve miles from Bay 
City. The Bay City & Midland plank road is finished from We- 
nona to the town of Williams. All of these roads are opening up 
and developing some of the richest agricultural sections in the 
State. Settlers are locating all along their routes, and in many 
places smiling farms are gladdening the eye. 



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HISTOBY OF THl SAOINAW VALLEY. 77 

STATS BOADS. 

The Midland &> Houghton Lake State road bids fur to be. com* 
pleted at no distant day. This is one of the most important roads 
in the country, as it opens a direct communication with a vast ex- 
panse of territory, rich in natural resources which only require a 
proper system of roads in order to develope them. Only penetrate 
that r^on wi^ good passable roads, and the fertile woodlands 
snd intervales will be settled by an industrious class of yoemanry 
who will soon change the aspect of the country. Another State 
Toad from Kaw-kaw*lin to Cheboygan, a distance of over 200 
miles, has been surveyed and a report submitted to the Commis- 
aioners. This road will open a line that will be of the utmost im- 
portance to the valley of the Saginaw. 

BAT COUNTY. 

This County was set off from Saginaw, Saranac, and parts of 
other counties, in the year 1857, and the Act of organization ap- 
proved February 17th of the same year. In the foregoing pages 
of our work we have included this county as part and parcel of 
the Saginaw Valley, without regard to locality, when speaking of 
the general resources and wealth of the same. Bay City, the 
county seat, which was formerly known as ''Lower Saginaw," it 
having had its name changed in 1857, is a prosperous and beautiful 
city, containing about 9000 inhabitants. It is situated on the east 
bank of the Saginaw river, four miles from its mouth and about 
fifteen below East Saginaw. The first settlement of this place is 
nearly identical with that of Saginaw City, as a civil community. 
Up to the year 1836 the place was simply a small trading post 
and occupied by only fifteen families. There were here at this 
time a Post Office, one Store, and one small Hotel, which we pre- 
sume did not transact a very heavy business. Not unlike Saginaw 
City, but little progress had been made here until about the year 
1850, when emigration began to come in, although slowly. The 
discovery of Salt in the valley attracted capitalists hither, who in- 
vested heavily. As a commercial point Bay City is probably des- 
tined to eclipse all other points in the Saginaw Valley. The city 



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78 HISTOEY OF THE SAGINAW VALLBT. 

is beautifully located and embraces an area of about three square 
miles. Many large and substantial brick blocks, public buildings, 
churches and school houses evinces the spirit of enterprise that 
predominates among its citizens. One of its principal business 
streets is paved with the Nicholson pavement, and a street railway 
traverses it two miles. All of the most modem systems of im- 
provements have been adopted here to make this what it is rapidly 
attaining to, a first class city. Its municipal and social regulations 
are superior, and in all its details nothing is lacking to render it as 
a place of business and residence, a most desirable location. The 
Fraser House is perhaps, one of the finest structures in Michigan, 
being located in the heart of the city, and containing all the apper- 
tenances of a first class hotel. The Bay City & East Saginaw 
Railroad, commencing here, joins the Flint & Pere Marquette 
Railway at East Saginaw. Another railroad project is under con- 
sideration by the citizens of this place, which will afford them a 
nearer and cheaper route East, in their opinion, than any yet opened. 
A fine draw bridge spans the river here. 

PORTSMOUTH. 

This village, which closely joins Bay City, contains about 3000 
inhabitants. The principal business here is the manufacture of 
lumber and salt. Its history is about identical with that of Bay 
City. Within a few years past it has improved very much. Its 
churches, school houses, places of business and fine residences 
speak much for the enterprising character of its inhabitants. 

WENONA, BANQOR, SALZBURG. 

Opposite Bay City, and at present the northern terminus of the 
Jackson, Lansing &, Saginaw Railroad, is Wenona, a young and 
rising village of about 600 inhabitants, having sprung up within 
three or four years. Its prospects are flattering and it is beyond 
doubt destined to become an important commercial point ere many 
years. Bangor, a little lumbering town a short distance below, 
contains about 400 inhabitants. Salzburg, which joins Wenona on 
the South, is a small village, the inhabitants of which are princi- 
pally engaged in the lumber and salt business. 



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HISTORY OT TUB SAGINAW VALLET. 79 

A STRANGERS VIEW OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 

Rev. Dr. Joseph P. Thompson, of New York ciity, has recently 
"been spending some days in Saginaw. In a letter to the Congre- 
gationalist, he says : 

" There is not a city in the whole West to which I would take a 
foreigner whom I desired to impress with the growth and prosperi- 
ty of American enterprise, than to East Saginaw. I do not even 
except Chicago, for at Saginaw one gets nearer to the roots of 
things, and can trace every inch of growth. And if knowledge 
and religion shall be favored throughout the West as they are at 
Saginaw, the West has before it not only a great material future, 
bat a sure and lasting prosperity, a true civiUzation." 

We also take from his letter this extract, in which he demon- 
strates the permanence of the prosperity of the thriving towns of 
the Saginaw Valley : 

"But what assurance is there that this will last? Is not East 
Saginaw a mere mushroom growth ? If the Saginaw river now 
ehips to market 400,000,000 feet of lumber per annum, will it not 
soon exhaust its own supplies, and dwindle in its staple business, 
as some towns in Maine nave done? The answer to this is given 
in the peculiar configuration of the lumber rcffion drained by the 
Saginaw and its tributaries. The Saginaw is like the trunk of a 
Banyan tree, whose tributaries reach out widelv upon both sides 
and bend down almost to the line of its mouth, tnus draining, uni- 
tedly, a much wider region than could be traversed by a much lon- 
ger stream of but a single stem. It is computed that the ten trib- 
utaries of the Saginaw traverse a region measuring 150 miles in 
each direction. Nearly 100 townships of fine timber lie upon their 
borders, containing a supply of upwards of 5,000,000,000 feet, 
which at present rates it would require more than twenty years to 
exhaust. When the land is cleared it proves excellent for tillage, 
and the country will be rich in agricultural products. Besides 
these, the supply of salt seems inexhaustible. The brine thrown 
. up by artesian wells contains about 90 per cent, of saline matter, 
and it is estimated that the present yield, if worked up to its 
highest capacity, would produce more than 1,000,000 barrels of 
salt per annum." 



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80 HI8T0BT Of THE SAGINAW VALLEY. 

COMCLUSIOir. 

The fayorable geographical position of Saginaw — ^its central lo- 
cation in the state — ^its facilities for commerce and shipment 
afforded by the river and adjacent lakes, as well as the various 
railroads that are opening up the valley, and the vast resources 
alluded to in the foregoing pages, forming the basb of an immense 
trade— its excellent famiing lands, equaling if not excelling in 
fertility the far-famed Valley of Genesee in the State of New York,, 
all combine to render its rivers and railroads at no distant day the 
most important avenues for trade in the peninsula, and its business 
points, marts of enterprise, thrift and importance, second to none 
in the United States. Our railroad system in particular, is be- 
ginning to meet the heretofore unprovided for exigencies of its 
business, and to aid in developing the immense latent resources of 
Northern Michigan. These facts have not escaped the attention 
of capitalists, whom we find investing liberally in all manner of 
projects and enterprises in the Saginaw Valley, especially those of 
railroads and plank roads, which will beyond doubt amply repay 
more than fourfold all investments in those directions. We have 
already dwelt somewhat at length upon these roads, but will sim- 
ply allude to two of our railroads again in connection with their 
northern extension. While Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago are 
loudly descanting upon their respective claims to the advantages 
of the great mineral trade of Lake Superior, and are inviting capi- 
talists to avail themselves of these advantages whidi their favor- 
able geographical position affords for securing that vast trade, by 
the establishment of manuflsictories for the working of the raw ma- 
terial, it is perhaps little dreamed that Saginaw possesses advanta- 
ges far superior to any of those places for the securing of that 
trade, not only in the abundance of its facilities for smelting pur- 
poses and the successful prosecution of all the details of the work, 
but in respect to its peculiarly favorable position, and is only 
awaiting the termination of these northern railroad extensions to 
render it the most convenient point for that business in the state, 
being so easy of access to all the markets east or west. 



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ASTEKIIBIHBNTg. 



oi'i'oi^iTioisr TO oox^Biasr^Tioasr. 



C. V. DELAKD, 

No. 105, SOUTH WASHINGTON STREET, 
OPPOSIT3e THE BANCROFT HOUSE. 



iff'e tag «mt 

CAPITAL, « 1,000,000. ASSETTS, $425,000. 



OIF B-A-IiTIOSdlOEE. 
Capiua, $250,000. A8setts, $435,000, 

• ^ » 

This Agency not being controUed^y the "National Board of Un. 

derwriters," we are able to insure all good property 

at equitable rates. 



Iiife, Accident and Live Stock Insurance, 

Effected at Beasonable Kates. 



Sartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Instirance Company, 

(DJiJSrrVJ^Tu, $500,000: 
Boilers thoroughly inspected and tested, and lusurance issued 
covering loss or damage arising from Explosion of Steam Boilers 
of all kinds. 



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ADYSRTI8SMBNT8. 



a-. E. IDTJTTOlsr, 



DIALIE IK 



CANNED AND GREEN FRUITS, 

Oysters and Yankee Notions, 

4^1 GEJTESEE STREET, 

September, 1868. EAST SAGINAW. 

THE CHEAPEST PUCE IN THE VALLEY 

TO BUY 

Groceries, Provisions, Flour, Feed, 

CROCKERY, GLASSWARE, 

tm LS Anuss tabist? or 

Of the ^est Quality, for Cash, is at 

<3r. E. BUTTON'S BRANCH STORE, 

Cor. of Maple St. and Carrollton Ave. 
Soptcmber, 186?. CARROLLTON, MICH. 



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ADVERTISEMENTS. 



J. R. LIVINGSTON & CO., 

1«IB«I« ARO RCTAILKM OP 

BET ii00&S 

Woolens, Carpets^ Oil Cloths, &c., 

CORKER OF GENE8CE AND WATER ST$., 

Will attend personally to 
Anywhere upon the river or in the Saginaw Valley, Having 

TWO 8TEJLM OBITSB8 

And possessing every facility for business, he would respectfully 

solicit the continued' patronage of his old friends and 

like favors from new ones. 

BESISBNCE, COB. OF FBANELZN & FITZHUaH STS., 

EAST SAGINAW, MICH. 



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ADVERTISEMENTS. 



ICanufactttrer of, and THioleBale and Betajl Sealer in all kinds of 

irURNITURE. 

Wooden and Metalic Coffins and Cafies. 

Undertakers Room 05, North Water Street* 

JOHK GALLAGMEB, 

DEALER IH 
Oallacher Block, WaaUnctoa Street, 

BAST SAGrSHATWi MXC3EI. 



FRED* MESSMAN, Proprietor. 

Cor. Water and Carroll Sts., near F. & P. M. Depot. 
EAST SA<}I3NIAW, MI€H. 

Water St., near Depot, East Saginaw. 

Wholesale and Retail 

AND RECTIFIERS. 

Burt's Bloot, No. 131, Noith Water Street. 

East Saginaw f .Mich. 



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). W. TiMPSOH ii; CO., 



• 

(Successors to Thompson Bros.) 

MANUFACTURERS OF 

And dealer's in every variety of 

PINE LUMBEE.I ' 

GANG SAWED 



-A.2sriD 






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