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HISTORICAL ASSOCIATIONS CONNECTED WITH WYANDOTTE AND VICINITY

BY DR. E. P. CHRISTIAN

It was in 1818 that the government road called the Detroit and Monroe was constructed by soldiers, and in this year the land along the river having been surveyed was put on the market. The bidding was very spirited and some sold as high as $40 per acre. Among the bidders he mentions the familiar names of Colonel Mack, J. E. Williams, Gen. McComb, [Macomb], Major Biddle, Major Kearsley and Dr. Delavan.
We may conclude that a fictitious value was created by an artificial boom after modern methods, or by the enthusiasm of a lively competition born of sanguine expectations, when we see that more than thirty years later this same tract of 2, 200 acres, on a portion of which Wyandotte is built, was purchased by the Eureka Iron Co. from Major Biddle at $20 per acre, just one-half the amount that was bid for some of the land in 1818. Although a new era had dawned and emigration and civilization were advancing, yet in some respects there seems to have been a retardation if not retrogression; at least the facilities of travel and communication seem not to have advanced with equal pace with the needs, for Mr, Clark says that after a short stay on his first visit, he sailed back to Cleveland and on the whole voyage did not see a solitary sail or vessel (the days of steamers* on the lakes had not yet come) except a very small one lying at Maiden and two at Detroit. "There were said to be not more than six or eight on all the lakes, excepting the remains of Perry's fleet.
Compare this statement with that of the description of Detroit in 1793 by Rev. O. M. Spencer, * who when a lad of twelve had been captured by the Indians.

Michigan


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