Chelsea, Michigan - (27 April 2020) Instead of becoming complacent (on the Waterloo gravel road ride) and heading home on my typical well-known routes, I'd decided to take off down another enticing gravel road that had caught my eye many times in the past. After a period of connecting up some new roads with a few distantly familiar ones, I was rewarded by being delivered into Chelsea from a new direction that placed me in a perfect position for a history lesson. The GSA and I came to a halt right next to the Chelsea Train Depot, along with a few other interesting points-of-interest all crammed into this same location: The land where Chelsea is located was settled by the Congdon brothers in the 1830's. They offered the Michigan Central Railroad a free site to build a station in 1848. The first and succeeding structures were freight stations. By 1850, eggs, wool, grain, apples, stock, and meat were being shipped. Michigan Central established Chelsea as a passenger service point in 1880. The depot was built with two waiting rooms - the east for women and children, the west for men. Chelsea was chosen by the Michigan Central Railroad, in 1880, for an experiment in upgrading the appearance of rural stations. The architects were commissioned from Detroit and their design was Victorian (one of my favorites) characterized by numerous gables and gingerbread embellishments. In 1975 the company was taken over by Amtrak. Amtrak discontinued service to Chelsea in 1981 and closed the station. The Amtrak still barrels through here as there is a sign warning that it passes at 80 MPH. Almost directly across the tracks from the depot is a magnificent example of captivating architecture; it's called Flemish Renaissance Revival and is inspired from places in Northern Europe such as Belgium. This is probably my favorite style. The Welfare Building was constructed as a recreation facility for the workers of the Glazier Stove Company. It was full of amenities such as a swimming pool, billiard hall, basketball court, theater, and a reading room. An impressive list for even today I would think, but especially in 1906. Frank Glazier was a Chelsea native and also the Michigan State Treasurer from 1904 to 1908. He founded the stove company in 1891. Glazier Stove works shipped the "Brightest and Best" oil stoves all over the United States and South America. Because Chelsea was a predominantly rural community and lacked skilled labor, the majority of the company's workers commuted weekly by a special train from Detroit. Glazier declared bankruptcy in 1907. Lewis Spring & Axle Company bought the building; they manufactured the short-lived Hollier Eight automobile. Since 1960 the building has housed the Chelsea Standard. I would assume that is a local newspaper. That striking clock-tower is part of a separate building called the Chelsea Clock Tower building. That Clock Tower used to house a 30,000 gallon wooden water tank that supplied water to fire sprinklers throughout the 18-building industrial complex. This building also has a unique cluster of octagonal chimneys. This is a work of art! These tracks also pass through the Jiffy Mix Company. This was the original Chelsea Milling Company that was established in 1901, as a traditional flour mill. Then they expanded into the retail prepared baking mix market in 1930.