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INCIDENTS IN THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY

BY JUDGE ALBERT MILLER

Early in the history of the State government a loan of |5, 000, 000 was negotiated by Governor Mason from the Morris Canal and Banking Company, of New Jersey, and on the 25th day of March, 1837, a board of commissioners of internal improvements was appointed, consisting of Hart L. Stewart, John M. Barber, Gardner D. Williams, Levi S. Humphrey, Justus Burdick, David C. McKinstry and James B. Hunt, who soon afterwards projected a system of internal improvements for the State, consisting of three railroads and two water ways across the lower peninsula. The railroads were the Michigan Central, the Michigan Southern and the Northern Railroad. The water ways were the Clinton and Kalamazoo canal, intended to connect the navigable waters of the Clinton and Kalamazoo rivers; and the Bad River canal, intended to connect the waters of the Bad river with those of the Maple, and by improving the rivers to open a water way from Lake Huron via the Saginaw and Grand rivers to Lake Michigan at Grand Haven.
The people of the Saginaw valley anticipated great results from the projected improvement last mentioned, by its opening up a water way from a shipping point at Saginaw west into a portion of the interior of the State that was known to contain some of its richest agricultural lands; and it would also furnish a water course across the peninsula on a shorter route than to follow the course of the lakes. Early in the year 1838 a corps of engineers was appointed for the work, selected from those who had been employed on the New York & Erie Railroad.

Michigan


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