Battle Creek Construction Project Unearths Portion of Oldest Road in Southwest Michigan
The Territorial Road is one of the oldest roads in Michigan and the first to blaze a trail from Detroit through Southwest Michigan. A portion of logs that once made up the original Territorial Road was recently unearthed during construction in Battle Creek.
Today Territorial Road runs between Riverside Drive and Helmer Road southwest of downtown Battle Creek. A road construction project on Territorial turned up old logs that date back at least a century. When the Territorial road was first blazed from Detroit to St Joseph though Washtenaw, Jackson, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Van Buren and Berrien Counties, a good portion of the road was 'corduroy,' which mean wood logs placed closely together in a fashion resembling the ribs in corduroy fabric.
According to a post on the Battle Creek Regional History Museum's Facebook page,
the crews working on reconstructing Territorial Road (near 20th Street) had uncovered and removed logs that had originally been used as a surface to the original roadway.
They are presently stacked up in front of Dottie's Cafe on the corner of Territorial and Woodrow.
In the early 1800's (and probably almost to the 20th century), roads that were well traveled and passed through marshy or swampy areas would have logs used as a solid road surface.
These road surfaces were often referred to as 'courderoy roads' because of there bumpy surface.
As of the end of June, the logs are still along Territorial Road, but there's no word on what will become of them.
A memorial plaque along Territorial near the uncovered logs reads,
This site marks the site of the "Old Territorial Road" one of the two trails over which immigration came into Michigan.
Battle Creek Chapter DAR
Dedicated to the pioneers of Calhoun County.
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