The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Post and Tribune (Detroit, MI), 8 Nov, 1877

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STATE SHIP CANAL. - The project of building a canal connecting the waters of Lake Michigan, via the Kalamazoo River route, with those of Lake Erie, at or near the mouth of the Detroit River, is again up for agitation. According to a circular left on our table, a mass State convention for this purpose is to be held in the village of Allegan on the 16th inst. The project is a grand one, and the building of the canal is only a question of time, doubtless. With such a water route many precious lives and much valuable property would be annually saved, to say nothing of the cheapening of transportation, and thereby enabling the United States to still more successfully compete with the Europeans in the principal markets of the world. The projectors, however, appear to make a mistake at the start. They propose to ask Congress "for an appropriation of $15,000 for the permanent survey of said canal route, and to further the early construction of said canal." That little $15,00 might be likened to the point of a big wedge.. By all means let the canal be built, but by the funds of those interested; those, for instance, whose farms are to be increased in value "25 to 50 per cent" by the improvement. Appropriations for special enterprises are not in favor these times. The Fox River improvement in Wisconsin is yet with us, a most gigantic fraud, and the inability of the Government to collect interest from the Pacific Railroad, will be apt to act like a wet blanket on such appropriations as that to be asked by the canal convention.

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Plans for canals across Michigan were many. One of the most notable was the Saginaw-Bad-Maple-Grand River canal of the 1850's. Before a financial panic dried up the funds, several miles of the canal were begun, and parts of it remain today. The straight-line distance covered by the Saugatuck-Monroe venture described above was more than 160 miles/258 kilometers, though much of the distance would have been covered by navigable portions of the Kalamazoo and Huron Rivers.
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8 Nov, 1877
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Dave Swayze
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Post and Tribune (Detroit, MI), 8 Nov, 1877