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DETROIT IN 1838

BY HENRY A. FORD

With very few exceptions all lived below the Grand Circus, and along not more than a mile's front upon the river, "more or less densely settled. '' Most of the business was done on Jefferson avenue, but Woodward avenue was "becoming of increased importance. " Atwater, "upon the river, '' and Woodbridge, "running parallel with it upon the declivity, " were "mostly occupied by stores and dealers in the heavier articles of merchandise. " There were 4 banks with $2, 250, 000 capital, 27 dry goods, 25 grocery and provision, 14 hardware, 10 forwarding and commission, 8 drug, 7 clothing and 3 book stores, 8 silversmiths and jewelers, 27 lawyers, 22 physicians, 3 markets, 4 printing offices, issuing 4 weeklies (1 religious), 3 dailies, 1 triweekly and 1 educational monthly. The little city had also a Mechanics' hall, a theater, museum, circus, public garden, and a number of federal and state offices. In manufacturing there were 3 iron foundries, 1 brass foundry, 2 breweries, an edge-stool and a sash factory, and "a large steam saw mill. " Much wholesale trade was already done, one half to three fifths of all merchandise sold going to the interior. No great amount of any product was exported, except fish. The fur trade had declined, although the American Fur company still kept its agency here. Forty seven lake vessels of all kinds were owned in this city, with an aggregate tonnage of 5, 164. For their accommodation 5, 900 feet of wharf had been made. About three steamers and as many sail vessels arrived and departed daily. The steam ferry to the Canada shore was running. Western emigration passing through afforded a large source of profit, especially in the season of navigation.

DETROIT MICHIGAN


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