Jackson has TOO much history for me to mention everything here...so I'll just highlight a few...

As far back as the 1830's, pioneers traveled down a trail that would come to be called Territorial Road (SEE PHOTOS BELOW FOR THE ROUTE). It headed through the area which is now Michigan Avenue in downtown Jackson and it ran up toward, almost parallel to I-94. This historic trail is commemorated with an Historical Marker in the "Grass Lake Rest Area 818" along I-94 (SEE PHOTOS).

Territorial Road connected St. Joe to Detroit and was the main trail since the 1820's. Even though it wasn't a legitimate road, many travelers knew of the route and frequented the trail as they searched for their own plot of land.

In 1830, a commission that became responsible for Jackson County's government appointees, made the report "A territorial road.....where this road crosses the Grand River.....a flourishing village is commenced." It was platted and planned to be the state capitol.

Eventually, the land was settled and named after President Andrew Jackson; the area's first name was Jacksonopolis and later changed to Jacksonburgh. It became an important transportation center and stopover for many travelers, settlers, businessmen, buyers and sellers. So much so, that on July 6, 1854, approximately 1,500 Michiganders assembled on the corner of what is now Franklin and Second Street under some oak trees and wound up organizing the Republican Party. This corner also has it's own Historical Marker (SEE PHOTOS).

What else? How about the state's oldest and largest state prison? The original armory has it's own Historical Marker.

The First Congregational Church was erected in 1859 on the downtown square (it still stands there) and this too has it's own Historical Marker. By the 1880's downtown Jackson was bustling and rivaled all other state cities, including Detroit.

Jackson has a nice handful of Historical Markers and the above are just a few. If you ask me, it should have MORE (like the location where "Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey" was written). There is much more to know, learn and appreciate in this historic Michigan city.

Get to the library and find out more.



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