09-17-2011, 07:42 PM
Joined: May 2006
Location: Metro Detroit - almost like offroad riding
Here are some historical tidbits about the area the ‘egg’ is now located.
Following the Revolutionary War the area west and north of the Ohio River was in dispute with England. The area, later to be known as the Northwest Territory, was technically supposed to be handed over to the new United States but England did not vacate the northern forts, including Fort Lernoult in Detroit, which caused a lot of tension between the two countries.
The English finally agreed to hand over the territory in 1796. The territory was carved up into 'counties' with Wayne County being defined as what is now northern Ohio, northern Indiana, all of Michigan Including the U.P., Wisconsin, and Minnesota east of the Mississippi River. The capital of this ginormous country was set as Detroit. Survey efforts to determine what was there as well as plans for the subdivision of the territory went into action. The survey grid plan, complete with identified ‘townships’ (even though no ‘towns’ yet existed at the theoretical grid line intersections) was the mastermind creation of Thomas Jefferson. The egg now resides in one of these townships, Clinton Township.
In 1798 a young student visited Detroit to join a survey crew led by Christian Clemens to locate a survey marker in what was to be Macomb County. The young man was Lewis Cass.
Lewis Cass must have been impressed with the wilderness surrounding Detroit because he later relocated here. Lewis Cass would go on to become the first Territorial Governor of Michigan Territory, lead survey expeditions throughout Michigan and Wisconsin, become the first Grand Master of the newly formed Grand Lodge of Michigan, become Secretary of State (I forgot under which Prez), and would run a failed bid for President of the United States. All in all, Lewis Cass is a forgotten hero of the area.
With the opening of the Erie Canal in the 1820’s, Detroit boomed with immigrants. Canals must have been the technological marvel of the time and Lewis Cass proposed a canal to cross the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Cass contributed personally to the project with many surveys of the areas the canal would pass. The plan was to locate the entrance off of the Clinton River by the town of Fredrick only a few miles from the survey marker Cass helped locate years earlier at what is now Mount Clemens.
The canal was to link the Clinton River in the east with the Grand River in the west providing a shipping canal from Lake Saint Clair to Lake Michigan complete with many locks to manage the elevation changes. The canal would have been a boom for Chicago and north throughout Wisconsin since the only way from Detroit to those areas at the time was by ship up and around the tip of Michigan. Unfortunately, after many years of construction, the workers went on strike and refused to complete the final section of the canal unless their demands were met. The strike lasted long enough that the project was cancelled as the new fangled railroad was coming to town!
Canal Park is situated where Frederick was located and marks the entrance to the subject canal.
Here is a map to the park:
The canal, as shown on the map, is still visible today. Here is the canal:
The entrance from the Clinton River:
The dam in this area to raise the water level for the canal is still visible although in ruins:
Although the canal located within this park area is in a rough decayed state, the remains of the canal are still visible on the 'developed' side of the road:
The road immediately adjacent to the park, Clinton River Road, is a fun road to ride for one being located in a city. There is also a road here called Canal Road which parallels the route of the old canal from the start all the way out for several miles. There are many other locations where the remains of the original canal are still visible as seen along Canal Road.
An amazing little piece of history nestled in the midst of a developed city! Enjoy...
2006 BMW K1200GT (the Jagdpanther has arrived as of 5-Aug-2011)
2005 R1200GS (sold)
1999 HD Ultra Classic
dceggert screwed with this post 09-19-2011 at 10:15 AM