Linking the Upper and Lower Great Lakes, this river has become one of the world’s great marine highways. In the 1700s canoes passed by here with furs destined to adorn Europe’s royalty. Ships built at Marine City by Sam and Eber Brock Ward during the mid-1800s carried many immigrants up this river on their way to new homes in the West. By the 1900s mighty freighters returned from the north with iron ore, copper, grain—products of these settlers’ labor.
Plaque via Michigan History Center