Massacre at Michilimackinac. Still more horrible was the massacre at Michilimackinac. The fort stood on the south shore of the straits, close upon the margin of the lake. A cluster of French-Canadian houses, roofed with bark and protected by picketed fences, stood beyond. High palisades surrounded the fort, and within were barracks and other buildings. Captain Etherington, the commandant, had been several times warned that the Indians were plotting treachery, but he paid no heed. On June 2, 1763, or, according to the trader Henry, June 4, a large band of Ojibways encamped in the vicinity, invited the officers and soldiers to come out and see a grand game of ball, to be played between that nation and several bands of Sacs. Discipline was relaxed; the gates were wide open, and the soldiers were lounging carelessly about. Captain Etherington and Lieutenant Leslie stood near the door. Hundreds of half-naked, athletic savages were leaping and running on the plain without, now massing and struggling for the ball, and again widely scattering. Suddenly the ball rose high in the air and fell near the pickets of the fort. Forward swarmed the yelling savages; a moment later they were at the gates. Snatching hatchets, which squaws had concealed beneath blankets, they raised the war whoop. The trader, Henry, had not gone to the fort, but was writing letters in one of the Canadian houses. He heard the war cry, and thus describes the scene: Going instantly to my window, I saw a crowd of Indians within the fort, furiously cutting down and scalping every Englishman they found. In particular, I witnessed the fate of Lieutenant Jamette. I had, in the room in which I was, a fowling piece loaded with swan shot. This I immediately seized and held it for a few minutes, waiting to hear the drums beat to arms. In this dreadful interval, I saw several of my countrymen fall, and more than one struggling between the knees of an Indian, who, holding him in this manner, scalped him while yet alive. " Mr. Henry then recounts his own marvelous escape, his concealment in the garret of an adjoining house by an Indian servant, his surrender to the Indians by the Canadian Langlade. With about twenty other captives they were taken to the Isles du Castor. Here seven of the captives were slain. Henry was rescued by an Indian friend, Wawatam, who had adopted him. At the outset Captain Etherington and Lieutenant Leslie had been seized and made captives, together with a number of other soldiers. The Ottawas, who had not been invited by the Ojibways to participate in the massacre, demanded the prisoners as their share of the spoils, and the captors reluctantly surrendered them. The prisoners fared well, indeed, by the exchange. They were treated kindly, though not allowed their liberty. Captain Etherington, in a letter a few days after the massacre to the commandant of the post at Detroit, asking for aid, said: “I They killed Lieutenant Jamette and fifteen rank and file, and a trader, named Tracy. They wounded two and took the rest of the garrison prisoners, five of whom they afterward killed. They made prisoners of all the English traders, and robbed them of everything they had; but they offered no violence to the persons or property of any of the Frenchmen." Next to Detroit, Michilimackinac was the most important post on the upper lakes. The posts of Green Bay and Sault Ste. Marie escaped the fate of Michilimackinac. The fort at the Sault had been partially destroyed by fire the previous winter, and the garrison temporarily abandoned and removed to Michilimackinac, but here many of the soldiers perished.


One event of interest during the Revolutionary war was the capture of the English fort at St. Joseph.

While the American colonies were struggling for their independence, Spain made an attack in the rear, from the lower Mississippi Valley, which it then controlled.

A military expedition was sent from St. Louis across the States of Illinois and Indiana to St. Joseph, Mich., a small post then held by British soldiers.

The post quickly capitulated, and the flag of Castile waved unquestioned for a few days in the wilds of Michigan.

By that act the prairies of Illinois became Spanish possessions, and the command of Lake Michigan fell from British hands to the mercies of the Dons.

This interesting event occurred early in the year 1781.

It had by that time become apparent to the powers of Europe that the American colonies would achieve their independence, and the very important question arose what territory should be transferred to the new' nation born on the wild western continent.

France was still smarting under the loss of Canada, and of the Great Lakes eighteen years earlier.

Spain was yet an aggressive explorer, and both nations indulged hopes of territorial gain when the terms of the American treaty would be arranged.

It was, doubtless, with this aim in view that the little Spanish post at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers received instructions from the King of Spain to acquire some color of title to the fertile lands and the great inland waters lying west of the Alleghany Mountains.

These instructions must have been urgent, for they were carried out in the dead of winter and in the face of great difficulties.

The expedition, which left St. Louis January 2, 1781, consisted of sixty-five militia and sixty Indians.

Of the militia thirty were Spaniards and thirty-five were probably French traders, whose sympathies and interests were then with Spain rather than with England.

The Indians, according to Spanish authorities, were of the nations "Otaguis, Sotu and Putuami."

In the last named may be easily recognized the Pottawatomies, whose children it was, perhaps, who massacred the American soldiers and settlers at Fort Dearborn thirty-one years later.

Don Eugenio Purre had charge of the expedition.

Don Carlos Tayon was second in command, and with them was Don Luis Chevalier, I "a man well versed in the language of the Indians."

This Chevalier was, doubtless, the Louis Chevelier, a French trader who narrowly escaped death when the savages, during Pontiac's war in 1763, captured the English post at St. Joseph and massacred eleven of its fourteen occupants.

He was versed not only in the language of the Indians, but in their weaknesses, and was a master of diplomacy in negotiations with the unlettered tribes.

His services were especially valuable, for the incursion to the lake country was to be made through the hunting grounds of Indians friendly to the English.

Their neutrality must be purchased, for upon that neutrality hinged the success of the expedition.

An inkling of the lavish hand with which this nonintervention was to be purchased is presented in the Spanish official account of the journey.

Each of the militiamen was obliged to carry provisions for his own subsistence, and various merchandises which were necessary to content, in case of need, the barbarous nations through whom they were obliged to cross.

The commander, by seasonable negotiations and precautions, prevented a considerable body of Indians, who were at the devotion of the English from opposing this expedition.

"Not only was there a liberal distribution of gifts among the Indians, but a share of the goods to the captured at the fort was promised in the event of success.'

Two great chiefs, Eluturno and Naquigen," were also members of the expedition.

"The distance from St. Louis to St. Joseph was 220 leagues."

The weather was severe and the party suffered " the greatest inconvenience from cold and hunger."

It is a matter of some surprise that authorities do not agree upon the site of St. Joseph.

La Salle, in 1679, had established a post at the mouth of St. Joseph river, and this location for Fort St. Joseph is given by Parkman, by Dillon's history of Indiana, 1843 edition and by other historians.

Charlevoix, who visited the post in 1721, places it about thirty miles up the river, near the present city of Niles, Mich.

English and French maps also give the interior location.

But whichever site was correct, it commanded lake Michigan for the puny craft that then sailed its stormy waters.

The fort fell without resistance.

There were only a few English soldiers present.

They were perhaps surprised, through the golden sealing of savage lips, until it was too late to receive re-enforcements from Detroit.

True to their promises-for there was a return journey to be made-the spoils of the fort were divided among the Indians who accompanied the expedition, and those through whose lands the Spaniards had marched.

Commandant Purre unfurled the Spanish flag above the fort.

It was the first and last time the gold and crimson banner waved in the region of the Great Lakes. And the time was brief, too.

Fearing an attack from Detroit, Don Purre, after a few days' rest, destroyed all stores that had not been taken by his Indian allies, and began the return trip.

It is conjectured that he took the same route by which he had advanced, crossing the portage from the St. Joseph to the Kankakee perhaps at or near South Bend, Ind., and retreating in a southwesterly course across the State of Illinois.

He took with him the British flag which he had captured at St. Joseph, and presented it with fitting ceremonies to Don Francisco Cruvat, Spanish governor at St. Louis. Franklin and his confreres representing the American colonies at the peace deliberations then progressing at Paris proved equal to the situation. Spain and France were actively seeking to pen up the American colonies along the Atlantic seaboard, and to that end sought the co-operation of Great Britain.

But the latter country judged that her claim upon the western domain between the Alleghanies and the Mississippi river would be better ceded to the colonies than left to the machinations of her European rivals, and quietly negotiated the basis for a treaty with the United States by which center lines through the Great Lakes and through the Mississippi river were made the respective northern and western boundaries of the new nation. And thus, the shadow of Spain was by shrewd diplomacy removed from the prairies of Illinois and from the mastery of Lake Michigan.

STURGIS MI 1907-13 Street Scene Along Chicago Street Looking East

Caledonia, Michigan Depot - West Side-South End, around 1910


1905 Lowell Michigan Fire 1911-CADILLAC-MI-LUMBERING


Cadillac Michigan - Long Wooden Plank Bridge West End of Lake Cadillac 1910

1913 BAY VIEW Michigan Grand Railroad DEPOT Alpena High School 1908


Apple Island Orchard Lake At Lake Orion




Ada Village in 1910


1908 Howard City Baseball

 Lake City Michigan 1950

 Michigan, Manton, Railroad Depot 1908

Manton Michigan Hotel Piper Building 1908

 Cedar Springs View 1900

Elmdale, Michigan General Store 1907

 The Grand River at North Park in Comstock Park, Michigan 1909

Michigan Plank Road late 1800s

 1930s A Shady Lane, Frankfort, Michigan

1908 Flooded Mi. Central Tracks in Battle Creek, Michigan


1907 Road Through Mish-a-Mish Park Street Scene View Copemish, MI


Bay View, MI. A country road

Carter Siding Michigan MICH (Benzie County) Desmond Chemical Co. 1909



FREMONT Michigan De Hass Hotel 1910 Newaygo County




IONIA Michigan Ionia County GTR & PM train station depot

MUSKEGON, Michigan Railroad Depot Birdseye 1910s

OVID, Michigan MAIN STREET SCENE looking North c1910s

OWOSSO MI Main Street Scene Looking East Michigan 1910s





Location And Boundaries—Physical Features—Village Of Ada— First Settler—Rix Robinson—Organization—First Officers —List Of Supervisers.

This is one of the four most centrally located townships in Kent County, the townships of Cannon, Grand Rapids and Plainfield being the others.

It is bounded on the north by Cannon, on the east by Vergennes, on the south by Cascade, and on the west by Grand Rapids.

It is said that it was named in honor of a highly respected young lady, Ada Smith, who then resided in the township.

The records of the township are not in existence previously to the year 1838, and this must have been about the date of its organization.

Its boundaries are four straight lines, and territorially it is an exact Congressional township, containing thirty-six sections of land.

The land is what is usually termed "oak openings" and as fertile perhaps as any other portion of the county, being generally very productive.

It was originally a fair alternation of openings and heavy timber, and the soil is sandy, being well adapted to fruit culture.

The valleys of the Grand and Thornapple Rivers are not extremely wide, and the general topography of other portions of the township might be described as level or gently undulating.

There is some excellent land, with fine farms and improvements, and it can be said that Ada is a specially rich and valuable territory.

The Grand River divides the township into unequal parts, following from southeast to Northwest, and Thornapple River comes up from the south to deposit its water into the main channel of the Grand.

In the pioneer days Thornapple was considered of sufficient magnitude to afford water power for the early mills, and it probably derives its name from the plentiful supply of thornapples which grew upon its banks.

There are a number of spring brooks which are tributaries of the two rivers, and these afford the drainage and water supply of the township.

The Grand Trunk Railroad traverses Ada, and besides being within a reasonable distance of the city of Grand Rapids, there is the village of Ada.

Ample shipping facilities are thus afforded, and the railroad accommodations are superior to most other rural districts in the county.

The country is traversed by well kept roads, which add to the comfort and convenience of interior travel.

The village of Ada is a shipping and trading point of importance and convenience to a large farming community.


The agricultural interests of the township are varied and extensive, stock raising and fruit culture being profitable accessories to the raising of grain and vegetables.

Much land is devoted to grazing uses, to which it is admirably adapted, by reason of the abundance of pure water, and successful growing of all kinds of grasses.

In an early day this locality was especially valued as a hunting ground, game of all kinds being found here in great abundance.

The first settler of this township was Rix Robinson. For a long time he was engaged in the fur trade with the Indians on Grand River.

Alone he traversed the forests, and "paddled his own canoe," surrounded with savages by nature—and sometimes by deed—but he remained unmolested by them.

The spirit of the natives had already been somewhat subdued by the influence of Christianity, and itinerant missionaries were then laboring among them. A tribe of these Indians remained on Sections 6 and 7 of the present township of Ada until about the year 1860, when they sold their lands and removed to Pentwater.

During the latter years of their residence on these lands they cultivated the soil, built comfortable dwellings, had well organized schools and very good churches.

They were of the Roman Catholic faith.

Mr. Robinson, or "Uncle Rix," as he was familiarly called, during his sojourn and life among the Indians, became quite attached to them; so much so that he chose one of their daughters as his partner for life.

A son was born to them, and he became well known throughout Grand River Valley and western Michigan as an energetic business man.

The experience of the pioneers of Ada was similar to that of other townships; they worked hard, they endured much, and they enjoyed much.

They lived a noble life, although it was a life perhaps few of us would choose.

And they did a good work.

Every stroke of their pioneer axe sounded a note in the song of a "thousand years."

Among the early settlers of Ada, in addition to the one we have already mentioned, may be named Edward Robinson, who settled in 1830; Tory Smith, Jedediah Riggs and Edward Pettis, in 1836-7; Peter McLean, R. G. Chaffee, Hezekiah Howell, E. McCormick, P. Fingleton, Gurden Chapel, John Findlay and J. S. Schenck, 1840 to 1845.

Tory Smith, one of that noble band of pioneers who were among the founders of Kent County, was born in Burlington, Vt., Nov. 12, 1798.

In 1832 he removed to near Rochester, N. Y., where he followed farming, and for two years carried the mail from Rochester over the noted Ridge road.

In the autumn of 1837 he came with his brother, Sydney Smith, to Ada, Kent County.

He entered fifty acres on Section 35 and subsequently forty acres more.

He owned an interest in and conducted a ferry across the Thornapple until the bridge was built.

Mr. Smith died Oct. 6, 1870, after a long life of usefulness.

Jedediah Riggs was a native of Connecticut, born July 8, 1776.

He came to Michigan in 1835 and entered 160 acres of land in Jackson County.

In April, 1837, he came to Ada and entered eighty acres of land, his being the fifth family to settle in Ada, east of the Grand River.

He died in August, 1868.

Edward Pettis was born in Pittsfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, Jan. 5, 1818.

In 1826 he came with his brother-in-law, Horace Lathrop, to Oakland County, and in 1836 to Ionia County.

In April, 1837, he pre-empted 104 acres on Section 6.

He disposed of this tract in 1842 and in June of that year purchased 105 acres, which he increased by subsequent purchases to nearly 400 acres of well improved land.

At this period there were no roads and no bridges, and the only available grist-mill was at Grand Rapids.

One notable occasion is related. Mr. Pettis left home with his wife, mother-in-law and twenty-five bushels of buckwheat, and drove his ox-team to Grand River, where he kept a canoe.

He ferried the women and buckwheat across, compelled the oxen to swim over, and, returning, dissected his wagon and carried the pieces in his canoe to the opposite shore, where he reconstructed his train and proceeded.

The return process was the same and three days were consumed in the trip.

Mr. Pettis aided in building the first church and schoolhouse and roads; he piloted the first boat from Grand Rapids to Grand Haven and, in 1847-8, assisted in the subdivision of twenty-two townships in Oceana, Newaygo and Manistee Counties.

He also lumbered on the Flat River about fifteen years. Peter McLean was born in Caledonia, Livingston County, New York, Dec. 11, 1815.

He was reared on a farm and attended school in the pioneer log schoolhouses.

Though the advantages were meager his diligent application fitted him for a teacher, in which vocation he spent fourteen successful years.

In 1836 he went to the island of Put-in-Bay, in Lake Erie, where he helped build the first frame house and barn, and six months afterwards returned to New York.

In May, 1838, he came to Jackson County and in February, 1843, "took up" 160 acres of State land on Section 13 in Ada township.

Almost the entire face of the country was covered with woods, settlements were "few and far between," and the Indians who had a village on Section 1 were still numerous.

Mr. McLean was a factor in all the early improvements of the township and took his share of the hardships of the first settler.

He served as a member of the Board of Supervisors sixteen years and as a justice of the peace eight years.

Patrick Fingleton was a native of Ireland, born in the year 1800.

In 1844 he crossed to America and settled in the State of Michigan.

For twenty-four years he was engaged in farming in Ada township, and he died in 1868.

Gurden Chapel was a native of New York State, but removed to Canada, as he was probably of English descent.

He came to Michigan in middle age and first located in Oakland County, but later in Kent County, and he died at Ada in 1876, at the age of eighty years. Jacob S. Schenck was born in Potter, Yates County, New York, May 17, 1819.

In October, 1845, he purchased 200 acres in Ada township, paying therefor $1,000, and on this he located in the spring of 1848.

His land was covered with woods—there were fifty acres cleared and a log house and barn had been built—but, with Mr. Schenck's untiring industry and well directed energy, it was converted into beautiful fields.

Ada Michigan in 1915

 Above - Ada, Michigan in 1915

Below - Ada, Michigan in 2016

Ada Michigan in 2016

The township was organized April 2, 1838.

The first election was held on the date above given, at the house of J. W. Fisk. Edward Robinson was moderator, and Peter Teeple was clerk of the election.

Officers were elected as follows: Supervisor, Sidney Smith; township clerk, Nelson Robinson; assessors, Rix Robinson, Hamilton Andrews and Peter Teeple; collector, Carlos Smith; overseers of the poor, Tory Smith and Miniers Jipson; commissioners of highways, William Slosson, Edward Robinson and Lewis Cook; constables, Carlos Smith, Rix R. Church and Michael Early; commissioners of schools, Nelson Robinson, George Teeple and Lewis Cook.

A complete list of the supervisors of Ada township is as follows: 1838, Sidney Smith; 1841, Rix Robinson; 1842, Norman Ackley; 1843, Sidney Smith; 1844, Rix Robinson; 1845, Amos Chase; 1846, Nelson Robinson; January to April, 1853, Emory F. Strong; 1853, Gurden Chapel; 1854, John H. Withey; 1857, Peter McLean; 1859, Moses O. Swartout; 1860, Peter McLean; 1866, William H. Mekeel; 1867, Hiram A. Rhodes; 1868, Peter McLean; 1870, John T. Headley; 1871, Peter McLean; 1875, Rudolphus G. Chaffee; 1877, John T. Headley; 1878, Peter McLean; 1879, John T. Headley; 1881, Peter McLean; 1882, Walter S. Plumb; 1885, John T. Headley; 1887, E. B. Clements; 1888, John T. Headley; 1889, Edward B. Clements; 1892, Lucius C. Warner; 1894, James H. Ward; 1895, Edward B. Clements; 1896, James H. Ward; 1908, Patrick J. McCormick; 1911, James H. Ward, present incumbent.

Amos Chase came from New York to Lenawee County, Michigan, in 1842, but the following year returned to his Empire State home.

In June of the same year, however, he came to Kent County and entered all of Section 10 of Ada township and thirty acres of Section 11, besides eighty acres of Section 36 in Cannon township.

He was quite prominent among the pioneers. William H. McKeel was born in Philips, Putnam County, New York, Jan. 31, 1831.

When twenty-one years old he engaged in cutting ship timber in York State, and this business he followed the most of his life.

In 1854 he came to Kent County. In 1857 he made a second trip here and bought a farm of 100 acres on Section 29 in Ada township.

He lived there two years and then returned to New York, but in 1860 he moved to Ada the second time and thereafter made it his home. John T. Headley was born in Sussex County, New Jersey, Oct. 6, 1822.

He grew to manhood in Steuben County, New York, and in 1862 came to Michigan, buying land in Cascade township, but three years later located in Ada.

He pursued farming in the summers and attended to his lumbering interests during the winter seasons.

Ada Hotel Ada Michigan 1912
Ada Hotel Ada Michigan 1912

The various industries of commerce and manufacture were early established and prosecuted with intelligence and success.

The first grist mill erected in the township was on Section 24, by H. H. Ives and Robert L. Shoemaker.

Many of the present-day citizens and men of affairs are the sons of the early pioneer settlers, who have left their impress upon the succeeding generations, and the people are generally well-to-do and progressive.

The first school house was at Ada. In 1854 the second school house was built near where stands the school house of Ada today.

It was a very convenient structure, and Moses Everett, then recently from New York, a teacher by profession, was first placed in charge.

About 1870, the second house having become too small to accommodate the rising village, a brick house was built and the school opened in it.

This was succeeded by the present graded school building. At present the district schools of the township are in keeping with the high standard of excellence maintained throughout the county.

Ada village was laid out into lots by Dalrymple & Dunn when the Detroit & Milwaukee Railroad was built, about the year 1858; and although one or more additional plats were made its growth has seemed to be quite slow.


It is located on Sections 33 and 34, near the confluence of the Thornapple and Grand Rivers, ten miles by the railroad from the city of Grand Rapids.

It possesses a tolerably good water power, which has never been fully improved. A good grist mill appears to be doing a good business, its proprietor being John Becker.

The village also contains a good school house, hotel, one drug store, three grocery stores and several other establishments.

Its church needs are supplied by the Christian Reformed, Congregational and Dutch Reformed denominations.

History of Grand Rapids and Kent County, Michigan - The Mound Builders of Pre-Historic Times
Resting in a glass case in the rooms of the Public Museum of Grand Rapids are the remains of a young woman. 
They were found buried deep in the sands of a hillside in Grattan Township and scientists tell us that, in life, this was the body of one of the ancient and long forgotten race, which, for want of a better name, we call the Mound Builders. 
It is not a pleasant sight-bones, broken and yellow with great age, wisps of long black hair, bits of desiccated flesh, and great empty eye-sockets, staring blankly from the remote past. 
About the arms are broad bands of beaten copper; near the throat were found small copper beads, some still strung together with sinews of the deer. 
Near the head was found a large sea-shell, such as may now be found along the shores of Florida and the Carolinas. 
This is all-and yet it tells a wonderful story of a long forgotten race which once thronged the valley of Grand River. 
The location of the grave, high on the hillside above the rush of waters, shows thought and care; the disposition of the body shows love and reverence and that great hope for immortality which has inspired mankind since the beginning of conscious being. 
The rude copper bracelets tell of the pride of youth; and more - they tell of knowledge of the mineral wealth of the great northern peninsula, of the ability and the effort to mine the ore, and of the work of loving hands to bring the priceless metal over weary miles and to shape it to fit the slender arms of the beloved. 
The sinews of the deer speak of the triumphs of the chase and the glad hunter bringing home his spoils, while the careful stringing of the copper beads reveals the deft touch of a woman's hand. 
The Florida sea-shell, placed so carefully, shows that this was one of the proud possessions of the dead and suggests knowledge of the distant sea and of some means by which this treasure was transported over the mountains and through the forests for many hundreds of miles. .
Thus this single grave gives knowledge that ages ago there lived a race, possessed of all the primal passions--grief, love, reverence, belief in immortality, industry, skill, patience, knowledge, travel, endurance, artistry, pride, the ardor of man's love, and the unending affection of a mother's heart. 
All these are told as plainly to the discerning eye as if sung by Homer or engraved upon the walls of pyramids.
Not only this, but the entire valley of Grand River is strewn with the bones of this ancient race. 
Whole trenches on the west side of the river were filled with like fragments when the mounds of the old civilization were levelled to make the foundation for the civilization of today. 
And thus hundreds of our happy homes are, literally, built upon the bones of a forgotten people. It is easy, then, for the imagination to reconstruct a picture of the Grand River valley, teeming with a brown-skinned race, busy, happy, industrious, proud of accomplishment and probably (?) quite as sure of the permanency of their civilization as we are that our race shall endure until the end of time. 
Scientists are not agreed as to the time of the disappearance of this people. 
By some it is placed as of as recent a date as 800 years ago, thus making their final disaster contemporary with the beginning of modern England. 
Others hold that the race became extinct at least 3,000 years ago-more than a thousand years before the beginning of the Christian Era, and centuries before the fabled wolf suckled the founders of ancient Rome. 
Whether it was war or pestilence, flood or famine which destroyed this people we may not know-but we can but wonder whether it is to be given to some of our loved ones, whom we have laid to rest with love and tears, to reach with dead hands across the centuries and tell some other peoples all they may know of the civilization of which we are now so proud. 
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," and the Scriptures tell us that he required but six days for the task; but again we are told that in His sight a thousand years are but as a day, and science tells us that many thousands of years were necessary to shape Michigan from the fiery mold of volcanic rock into the splendid habitat of man as we now behold it. 
It is not the province of history to enter deeply into the field of geology, and it will here suffice to say that in very early geological times the Michigan Basin extended from the Appalachian range along the Atlantic coast, north beyond Lake Superior and west beyond the Mississippi. 
There were valleys as deeply cut as the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, and mountain peaks but little inferior to the lofty summits of the present Rockies. 
There were vast upheavals as the molten mass of what is now the earth boiled and bubbled like a witch's caldron. 
To the south, a great ridge arose, known to science as the Cincinnati Shale, closing the Michigan Basin and differentiating its formation from that of the states bordering on the Ohio River. 
This change took place in the early carboniferous age, before the vast forests were developed which later, under immense pressure, became the coal measures with which the Ohio Valley is so richly endowed. 
The Archean Rocks of the earliest geological times are now seen in the region of Marquette and in the glacial boulders scattered throughout the State, and they were molded in such fiery furnace that no evidence of stratification remains. 
It was during what is known as the Huronian period that the first sedimentary rock was laid, and the deposit of sediment presupposes a sea. 
There were also great volcanic disturbances and upheavals, and foldings, and vast streams of lava were belched forth from the fiery interior. 
Michigan may then have been robbed, in a measure, of its coal by these convulsions of nature, but this Huronian period gave to it its wondrously rich deposits of iron and copper ore. 
The long centuries of the Cambrian age gave to Michigan great sand and stone formations and painted the "Pictured Rocks." 
There followed a time during which the Niagara limestone was laid, forming, finally, a rim about the great, clear, inland sea. 
This limestone deposit, about 500 feet in thickness, speaks of the countless years which must have been required for its formation; but this was but an episode in the creation of Michigan, for above the Niagara and within the Michigan Basin, we are told that there are some twenty-six different rock formations of an aggregate thickness of about 4,500 feet. 
The Salina formation, which immediately followed the' Niagara, was at a time when the well springs of the earth were dry and the hot winds like furnace blasts caused the deposit of much salt and gypsum, although the great plaster deposits of the Grand River Valley are outcroppings from the lower carboniferous formations. 
All these formations were laid prior to the great floods of ice which slowly forced their way from the far north, filled the contours of the basins shaped in former ages, melted and receded, and advanced, again and again. 
It is not difficult to measure the movement of the comparatively miniature glaciers on the steep mountain sides of today. 
The advance is but a few feet in a year and furnishes, perhaps, a basis' for computation of the length of time covered by the glacial period. 
The work of these glaciers was to give the finishing touches to the contour of Michigan, to deposit its soil of rare fertility, and to leave us the precious legacy of the Great Lakes.
Again, it is estimated that the close of this glacial period was not less than 50,000 years ago. 
Of this glacial period Prof. L. H. Wood says in his geography of Michigan: "The events of the Glacial Period so completely effaced the records of the past in Michigan that it became as if old things had passed away and all things had become new.
The ice changed the great river valleys to the Great Lakes, reduced the range of relief of the Michigan area, chiefly by filling valleys, some 600 feet; filled the old valleys and united the uplands into a compact and definitely bounded area. 
The elder pre-glacial valleys that would have furnished the habitable space were dammed up, and the life that might have spread over 95,000 square miles of the Great Lakes area was compelled to concentrate either on the peninsulas between the lakes or on their periphery. 
Water boundaries were thus established that unite much more closely in trade the 30,000,000 people about the lakes than they could possibly have been united by the old upland-valley bed-rock surface of the state. 
The new lines of the relief have determined the location of the railroads, sites were established for all the cities of the state, the soils were redistributed, and the relations to the outside world so changed that a new distribution was determined for all the future industries; and in general all the geographic lines of development of the state radiate from the new epoch inaugurated with the Glacial Period."
The sign writing of the Glacial Period is found in the tracings of erosion on many rocks; and the soil of Michigan, practically all of it is the result of the work of these great ice rivers. 
The recession of the glaciers left large bodies of water in the deep valleys formed in prior ages, but with the western lakes emptying into the ocean by way of the Mississippi Valley. 
Still further recessions opened other outlets and the receding waters were cut off from the gateway to the Mississippi and found an outlet through the St. Lawrence River. 
The Great Lakes are then a direct legacy from the glaciers, a priceless legacy to commerce and to the salubrity of Michigan's climate. 
Grand River so named because it is the largest in the State, and the largest river emptying into the Great Lakes, is believed also to be a direct gift of the Glacial Period and to have been for a long time the outlet of Lake Saginaw and other glacial lakes, and to have been one with the Kalamazoo and St. Joseph rivers, later finding its own outlet from Grand Rapids to Lake Michigan. 
Nothing can be more fascinating than this wonderful story of the earth's development, as pieced together by the trained minds of scientists from the evidence of rocks and soils and fossil remains, which latter tell of the many strange forms of animal life which teemed in pre-historic lakes and roamed through pre-historic forests. 
Aside from these "sermons in stones," the page of history is a blank for all these 50,000 years and the silence of the ages is first broken by the evidence of human life left to us for study by the Mound Builders.
The traces of the Mound Builders are found at many points throughout the United States and especially in the Ohio and Scioto Valleys and throughout this western section of Michigan. 
Mounds recently excavated on the farm of Senator Tremper, of Portsmouth, Ohio, yielded rich treasures because the work was directed with intelligence. 
The mounds of the Grand River region were opened largely under less favorable conditions, thus preventing extended, careful scientific study of the structure of the mounds and which also resulted in the loss and destruction of many relics of this unknown race. 
The Public Museum of Grand Rapids contains, however, a very interesting collection, among which are many articles which show a much higher order of intelligence, patience and skill, as well as of artistic ability, than was shown by any of the Indians, then living in the United States who first came into contact with the whites. 
Speaking of the Mound Builders and their work in Michigan, Henry H. Riley, of Constantine, said in a paper read before the Pioneer Association, in 1879: "My belief in the existence of the so-called Mound Builders of our continent increases from year to year. 
There is a witchery about the subject that inflames the imagination and warps the judgment. 
I never look upon the remains of a people which stand so silently and so solemnly around us-what people I do not know-without feeling myself stretching away into the past, with my head in a whirl, and my brain exhausting itself among the phantoms of antiquity. 
The mound builders seem to belong to a race who finished up their work on earth before the real life-work of men and nations began, and who just left their monuments behind them when they passed away, to puzzle us with curious investigations and strange questions never, perhaps, to be answered." 
Among the relics found in the many mounds are finely wrought implements and ornaments made from the copper which they mined in the Lake Superior region, doubtless by the slow and wearisome process of heating and pouring on water. 
The evidences of these mines on Isle Royal are very wonderful. 
There are pits of as much as 30 feet in diameter and with a depth of 60 feet. 
There are underground passages and drains and at one place, remains of a timbered passage. 
There were also found in the mounds, implements made of silver, porphyry, obsidian and green stone, while the copper has been worked into chisels, axes, bracelets, beads, and toys; and there are many beautiful designs of pottery. 
The hand which shaped and smoothed and polished some of these specimens, and which formed them in perfect symmetry with the natural markings of the stone, was possessed of both skill and cunning and was guided by a mind which had a high appreciation of the beautiful. 
Again, there are evidences of intensive agriculture in what are supposed to be well laid-out gardens-gardens of which, it would seem that our thriftiest truck farmer might well be proud. 
Some cities have had wholly artificial origin, while others were ordained by nature as the habitation of man. 
The Mound Builders showed a high degree of intelligence in the selection of the sites for their centers of population, and their locations at Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Grand Rapids, have been approved and followed by our present civilization. 
They showed the same appreciation of the value of the Grand River as affording a broad and safe avenue from Lake Michigan to the rich interior as later did the Indians and the whites. 
They also found that at the portage, made necessary by the rapids to connect with the highway of water extending many additional miles through the forest, was the most suitable place for their residence. 
That they lived here in great numbers is attested by the many mounds filled with their bones, while the fact that conflict waged for the possession of this favored region is shown by the multiplicity of arrow heads and other implements of war which have been plowed up in many a Kent County field. 
Is it not possible that once the valley of Grand River ran as red with blood as has the valley of the Marne, and that here was witnessed the final extermination of a race? 
The entire absence of Indian tradition concerning the Mound Builders, and the fact that the trunks of trees of great age have been found buried deep above these Mound Builders' graves, and beneath living forests also of great age, indicate that centuries must have elapsed between the last of the mound builders inhabitants of the Grand River Valley, and the first Indian inhabitants. 
Students of the Indian tribes have presumed that the Tuteloes formed the first' known tribe dwelling in this region. 
By some writers they were said to belong to the Six Nations, and by other writers they are said to have been Dakotans, who were gradually exterminated by the warlike Algonquins and Iroquois. 
The earlier tribes made free use of the mounds left by the earlier race, both as lookout stations and as places of burial, and held them in great reverence. 
It is the complication caused by these intrusive burials which has made the work of research so much more difficult for the antiquarian. 
In truth, the Indians left fewer traces than did the Mound Builders, and their history before the coming of the whites can only be vaguely surmised.