26 November 2014

Overland To Michigan In 1846

Did you ever wonder about the experiences of a traveler from the Atlantic coast "west" (in this case "west" was Michigan)? There was a narrative found in Michigan History, Volume 5 (see below):

...meadows or slowly moving down the dusty country road a little cavalcade of covered wagons carriages and horseback riders--men women and children--'out on the sunset road' journeying west to Michigan.

Wagon that went even further west

I notice that wages are low and that even here (on way to Michigan) the people talk of 'going west.'

On...journeying Michigan. As the old man recalls the months of preparation preceding their departure,--the planning, the packing, the baking, the choosing of taverns and overland routes,-- he remembers the newspapers of the day with their marvelous stories of the West and the letters from enthusiastic relatives and friends... .

...we started afoot to Michigan.

...there is the best road in the world from Sandusky to Woodville crosses Portage river and ends at Perrysburg two miles from Maumee city.  

We were at Huffs two days (White Pigeon).  He says it cost him $50.00 to come west. [Huff was a blacksmith once employed by Alex Silliman].  White Pigeon is on the cash system but there is a hard set of shavers here who will stand an hour for half a cent and they are not...keeping the Sabbath, but you can buy goods as cheap as you can at Milton.  Coats made for four dollars, Kentucky jeans, $3.00 and $3.50,--vests and pantaloons, $1.50 to $2.00.  Rents are high,--50 to 60 per yr for a little story and a half house, 16 x 20 and not finished at that.

Land is cheap:  three dollars per acre for unimproved land.  

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