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A PIONEER MINISTER

BY REV. SUPPLY CHASE
APRIL 21, 1873

On this occasion an immense concourse of people was present from nearly all parts of the State where there were settlers. Gov. Mason and staff, many members of the State government, and a large delegation from the city of Detroit were in attendance. The first spadeful of earth was raised and deposited in the barrow by Gov. Mason, amidst the huzzas of the multitude, and every one thought the era of internal improvements was fully inaugurated. Whisky flowed profusely. Tables were spread in the adjacent grove, and a sumptuous dinner was provided, to which—after the oration was over—the government of Michigan, with all the invited guests, repaired, and did ample justice to the feast. Then came the toasts, with speeches and responses. It was a day of democratic glory. All were hilarious with joy and whisky. Distinctions were abolished. All were on a level. After a time an honored senator from Macomb county was placed upon the dinner table, amidst the crockery and glassware, and called on for a speech. This he attempted, but he never got beyond "Fellow citizens!" for his voice was drowned by the vociferations of the crazy multitude by which he was surrounded. This was the day of great expectations. Mt. Clemens was to be the great port of trans-shipment for the immense production of interior Michigan when the wilderness had disappeared and the banks of the Clinton and Kalamazoo canal had become studded with busy and thriving cities. But alas for the great canal! It dragged its slow length along until it reached Rochester, Oakland county, where it made a permanent halt, and I do not remember of but a single craft that ever navigated its waters. A portion of it is still used as a mill-race, but the wooden locks have long since gone to decay. The prospects of the greatness of Mt. Clemens faded like a summer cloud.

Michigan


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