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INCIDENTS IN THE EARLY HISTORY OF THE SAGINAW VALLEY

BY JUDGE ALBERT MILLER

The winter of 1835-6 was cold, with much snow. In my solitary travels up and down the river and across the head of the bay that winter there was nothing to relieve the monotony of the prairie scenery after passing Saginaw except the white owl perched on top of the "Lone Tree, " which was on what is now Thomas H. McGraw's prairie farm, Louis Major's log shanty near where Myers' mill is located, Joseph and Medor Tromble's trading house near Twenty-third street, Bay City, John B. Trudell's residence, the location known afterwards as the Watson place, and Leon Tromble's small log house near where the Birney block now stands, where I was always hospitably received when I called to warm myself after my cold rides on the ice. The land I had leased had no buildings on it, and after the ice on the Saginaw river became strong enough to bear the weight, I placed a strong ox sled under each corner of my frame house at Green Point and hitched eight oxen to the sleds and hauled the house onto the ice on the river and proceeded with it to the farm at Crow Island, while the furniture remained in the house, with fire burning in the stove and provisions being cooked by it. The people at Saginaw, having no intimation of my plans, were greatly surprised at seeing a house on runners passing their residences. I built an addition to the house and some log stables and got out a large quantity of rail timber preparatory to farming on a large scale the next season. After removing to Crow Island we selected a nearer route by which pedestrians could pass to and from the cattle tenders' camp. By taking a northeasterly direction we could reach the camp by traveling about fourteen miles, ten miles of prairie, the balance of the way timbered land.

Michigan


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