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EARLY MICHIGAN

MICHIGAN TERRITORY IN 1820

The creek was cleared. I then employed men rafting the lumber in cribs, some 1, 500 feet in a crib. One man on a crib with a pole would run down the creek some five miles to a bank in the openings, haul it out, and that was his day's labor. That was repeated, rafting and running till I had about 100,000 feet on the bank. Then I hired teams to haul the lumber to Colon lake and St. Joseph river. Then it was rafted and run down said river to the mouth and Lake Michigan. There was but little or no demand for lumber there. I was told they had started a town across the lake at the mouth of Chicago river, where it was thought I might make sale of my lumber. There was a vessel lying there—I think the only one on Lake Michigan— with part of a load of flour bound for that town across the lake. I bargained with the captain to put a deck load of lumber on his vessel. I also chartered the vessel to return and take a cargo. I was to pay $200. We came in sight of the town; the vessel was anchored over half a mile from shore, the lumber put on a scow and rowed in the river and put on the bank. There was no harbor there. I soon ascertained I had come to a poor market to sell my dumber, about 20, 000 feet of clear whitewood. I at last made sale to a man by the name of Williams who was then keeping a 7 x 9 grocery. He was the only man there who was able to purchase the lumber. There were at that time about a dozen cheap houses or shanties, and one respectable one, called a hotel, the only one that had any paint on it, was located where the Tremont house now stands. There was a fort, and soldiers stationed there, which was commanded by Col. Whistler. I was in the place two days, intending to leave for home the next morning and not return to St. Jo. for the cargo I had bargained for.

MICHIGAN


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