The History of Genesee County, MI
Chapter I

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Clayton



The building of cars has from early days been an important industry in Michigan. Since 1852, when the Michigan Central railway was completed between Detroit and Chicago, railroad building has developed rapidly. This was substantially aided by grants of land for the purpose, given to the state by the national government. The Michigan Central now has branches to all parts of the state feeding the great trunk line from every direction. The Lake Shore & Michigan southern, the second earliest line, has likewise acquired numerous tributary lines. The Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee railroad, the Pere Marquette system, the Ann Arbor railroad the Grand Rapids & Indiana, and the extensions of the Grand Trunk system of Canada, afford abundant means of trans-peninsular communication and transportation. Similar facilities are afforded in the upper peninsula by the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic, the Chicago & Northwestern, the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie, and numerous branch lines. The development of the automobile had its inception in Michigan, and in the marvelous advance made in the motor car industry Michigan stands first in number of cars manufactured and volume of business in that line. The motor car industry is third in money value in the United States, only steel and cotton exceeding it. Electric roads extend into nearly every section of lower Michigan and in addition to passengers, do a large freight and express business.

Water transportation, on the Great lakes, has kept pace with the railroads and has give n rise to the industry of ship-building. Michigan forests have furnished the finest ship timber in the world. In the days of wooden ships the principal centers of this industry were at Detroit, Bay City and points on the St. Clair river. With the coming of the steel ship, the works at these places expanded to meet the demand and are not rivalled only by those near Cleveland. Of late years the growth in lake tonnage has been very rapid and the size and number of water craft have increased in proportion. Great leviathans carry coal, iron, copper and grain from the far-end of lake superior to lower Lake Erie and to Chicago and Milwaukee, and smaller craft carry full loads into all harbors. Each year witnesses a substantial increase of investment in great plants to meet the demands of the Great Lakes carrying trade.


History of Genesee County, Michigan, Her People, Industries and Institutions
by Edwin O. Wood, LL.D, President Michigan Historical Commission, 1916

Transcribed by Holice B. Young

HTML by Deb

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