a few links to sixty links in width.
Among the largest of these are the Sycanrwre, Willow, Mod
and Deer creeks, and the east branch of the Cedar river.
It will be noticed by reference to the map, that all the streanit
have a bearing to the north, excepting the few north of the Cedar
These streams furnish the country with a tolerable supply of
An extensive deposite of shell marl was noticed on section fif-
teen, township one north, range one west ; occurring near the
source of a small stream. It is chiefly in the state of a compact
Digitized by VjOOQ IC
ttklbeaiitiMijr wU«e Mwifaer, ooftliiiiJBg mi abundn^ nddnt
Aelh. The «d eun befoM notici;d pastes throush bd axteome
Bisrab, macfa of ^ioh is onderlayed by the imrX eofatwl urttb
pe t and vegetable muck, of from two to six or eight ieet tfai^k*
,. Mafi ako ooaan in a basia shaped hoil9#, on sactioQ thiitjfv'
three, in the town of Leslie.
I was informed by Mr. WoodWorth, that an extensive bed of
marl occurs on section thirty-five, township two north, range odtf
Ciieareoui tufe was notloed at several fAaees in the comUkMb
bdt QOt ki iufficient quantity to bcf of any practical valiie.
• Several depoiiles of bog iron were noticed In Ingtmui eoofityy
which, however, are of not sufficient extent to be of any practical
value- These were in most cases noticed along the streams, out-
lets of marshes, and in connection wilh chalyb^te springs.
The m68t extensive deposite observed in Ingham county, was
on sectioiKeigbteen, township three north, range two east, in the
bank of a small stream. It consists of coarse and fine grainSi
i>rming ittasies in the soilv which is of a sandy loam*
A'd epasite of an argilhweous ochre, was noticed on sectioa
tvreoty-iwot in the town of Leslie, covering an area of fiwir square
reds, !and from a few inches to three feet thick. It is very uncta*
eom contaioiog but a smaU proportion of sand and gravd. Mi^.
Wood worth infonwed nr» that he had made use of it as paiat, mi
fbiiod it to Ansiver a good purpose.
On section eleven, in the town of Stockbridge, was norioed a
depoaite several rods in eHternt,^ and from a few inches to one foot
io diidGoeas, varying from a deep to a light red cdof, unctuons»
and containing sand and gravel in small quantity.
Another deposite was noticed at the outlet of a marshy in tii«
southwest corner of Onondaga.
Oo section three, township four north, rantfe three vTest, m the
bank of Grand river, sand, cemented with ciJcareous matter, oo-
curs, and has been mistaken by the inhabitants for a lefdge of aand*
stoaa. it has an elevation of fifteen feet, but is not extensive. It
Ml eeveoed with a light colored clay soil- The sand from whieh
the crag is formed is considerably extensive, and will aflM ^ ffood
aand &r mortar.
Primary boulders were noticed at numerous points in these
counties, particularly along the streams, where they occur in ffreal
4M HOUSE DOOUMENTa
Boulders ooeiir more fraqoaally upon the fnrfiroe of the pliiM
then on the timbered landi. They are not uofrequeDtly seen m
great nambers upon the summits of the most elevated hiUooiES
On section thirty-one, township- four north, range twoeast» se-
veral small angular boulders of light colored limestone, contaimog
fossilsy were seen.
Blue and variegated clays, inferior in quality, are not unfins*
qoeDtly met with in Ingham and Eaton counties. A varksaled
marly clay, of fine texture, was observed on the west side ofPine
lake, and will afford an excellent manure for the light neighbor-
An analysts of two hundred grains of this day gave the fi^
lowing results :
Garb, lime, 66,00 grs.
This bed of clay has been found to be twelve feet thick at a
well on the west side of Pine lake, and to repose on fine saad.
* Clay was again noticed on section diirteen, township four nMlh,
rai^ two west and two east, in the banks of the Cedar riv«r.
This clay contains only a small portion of lime, is free from grtf
yek aad will afford a tolerable material for brick.
Blue clay, containing gravel and pebblesi occurs at intervals
aloi^ the banks or Grand and Cedar rivers.
Clay suitable for brick was observed in the town of LesKSt
near the villaffe of Leslie. In the town of Stockbridge, on sec-
tion eleven, clay that will afibrd a good material ibr brick was
Building and Flagging Stone.
The great sand rock formation embraces the only rock found
in place in Ingham, and the north and east parts of E^ton coun-
ties. It is exposed at many points along the Grand and Cedar
rivers, forttiing in some cases, perpendicular cMSk. k is also seen
at a distance from the river; in the beds and banks of the saiall
streams. At many points in the county the rock is found cov-
ered by only a slight depth of soil, and it may reasonably be sup*
posed that as the settlement of the county advances, the rock will
be found to approach sufficiently near the surface for quarrying,
at many points where it is now wholly unperceived.
Soutnwest from the mouth of the Cedar river, on section nina-
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HOUSS DOCUMENTS. ^m
teen, a eoiapaot, ^y* odoaroQiDs saadsloiie ooonn in Ibrbadind
iNUikf of Grand rvrer.
Ao analysis of this sandstone showed it to be composed of
Silieeous saod with mica, 60)00 grs.
Calcareous matter, 40,00
fimbraced in this mieaoeous sandstone is a compact, white,
quartzose sandstone, cemented with lime. Both these yarielies
of sandstone will affi>rd a vaioable material for building. The
upper portion t>f the calcareous sandstone is composed of thia
kyars, which would answer a valuable purpose as a flagging
In the southwest part of township three north, range two west,
a sandstone well adapted for building purposes, was noticed in the
bed and bank of Grand river. It is regularly stratified, the. lajr^
ers being from two inches to twelve inches in thickness. It may
be quarried in blocks of several feet superficial extent. It con-
tains numerous remains of extinct plants. This rock is analo-
gous to the calcareous sandstone near the mouth of Cedar river.
In the town of Onondaga, Ingham county, on sections seven,
twenty-eight and twen(y«-nine, a coarse, quartzose, micaceous
MUMlftone was examined, some portion of which will^ afford a good
On sectioo thirty«six, township four north, range two east, in
the bed and banks of the Cedar river, a white, coarse grained,
micaceous sandstone occurs. It is friable when first taken from
the qoarry, but hardens upon exposure to the atmosphere.
This out-cropping edge of sandstone embraces a ned of bttu-
minous shale and coal.
An out'«rop of the sandstone was examined in the bank of
Deer creek, near the surveyed line of the canal, on section four-
teen, township three north, range one east, Ingham county. This
nndstonc resembles, in appearance, the calcareous sandstone at
the mouth of the Cedar nver, is very much shattered, and some
of the blocks have nearly a vertical position.
Sandstone was again noticed on section twenty-two, town of
Leslie, and is apparently well adapted to economioal nsea. It re-
Mnbles in texture the sandstone at Napoleon.
^ Sandstone of a friable nature was noticed on sections sixteeii,
twenty and twenty-one, in the town of Vevay, from one to two
miles south of Mason. The quality of the stone cannot be vv^i
known until excavations are made.
Sandstone also occurs on Grand viver^ Grindstone and Coal
eraeks, in Eaton county, hi mural walls of firom ten to forty leet
in be^t, and extends alobg each of these creeks for the di^raoe
of a nule^ and along Grand river for a distanoe of from oM and a
Digitized by ViiOOQ IC
Imttt9 two mHai. Tbeie ttndttonet embnuse a fliooeaiion df
coal, fissile shale and iron ore. They also contain many rematoi
Some portions of the sandstone will aflbrd a good material for
building, as also for grindstones.
On section twelve, in the same township, forming the bed of
Grand river and occasioning a strong rapid, is a fine grained sand-
stone cemented with lin^e, and characterized by the appearaooe
dPmimerous vegetable impressions.
A good material for building and grindstones, and embracing m
bed <K bituminous shale, Was notio^ in the bed and banks of
Grand river, on section twelve, town one north, range three west,
Eaton county, and section seven, town one north, range two west,
Ifi^am coonty. It extends north along the valley m the Grand
river hito the ad[joining township. It is here oveflayed by a thift
bed of coarse red sandstone that has an irregular dip of about four
ipcbes to the fooC
The whole rock formation of Ingham and Eatos counties ttmy
be referred to the coal bearing series, and several beds of this ma-
terial, which may be looked upon as valuable, have been ezam^
ined. The level and unbroken character of the country wliieli
brings the rocks but rarely to the surface, together with the dis-
integrating nature of the rock, (the latter serving to cover those
edges, which under other oirounlstances, would 1^ exposed,) ren-
der it difficult to folk)w these beds in a continuous nNiniien but
no doubt can be entertained but they exist over a large area of
The most extensive beds of coal were noticed in township four
sortlK range one and two east, in Ingham county, and ranges
three and lour west, in Eaton county.
' Coal also occurs in the valley of Coal and Grindstone creeb,
and on section three, ten and eleven, on Coal creek. The coal is
here comprised in four beds, having a thickness of four, ten, twehre
and twenty inches, and neither bed exceeds two feet at any one
. It was examined at several |:^aeeB akng thp table lands, and it
the bed of th^ stream, for a distance of one and a half miles, wheiv
in consequence of its dip, 1 was unable to trace it further.
The coal is embraced in a succession of fissile shales, and coin-
poet and friable sandstone, varying in thickness, from five to for-
ty feet I was enabled to remove several bushels from the difibr-
6ot looalities, that proved to be highly bitominous, asid of very
gsiod quality^ though ooodsional pieces were observed sligMy
fisoCuninated with iron p3nites. It ignites easily, burae imb a
light flsme^ and leaves only a sniaM qoaatity of eartfay residuMA.
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HOCrSB DOCUMENTS. 4$9
The coftl on Grindstone oreek it a continuation of the ooal on
Coal creek» and was traced in the immediate vicinity of Grind-
stone creekt across the eastern parts of section three, ten and elev-
en, where a part of the coal had but a thin coveriog of soil, mak«
ing a distance along the stream of one and a half or two miles.
The coal here consists of a single bed, having an average thick-
ness of eighteen inches, and at no one point, exceeding two feet
Other beds of small extent, were noticed along the same stream.
In the north bank of Grand ri'trer, in town^ip before mention-
ed, a thin bed of coal oceors, having an average thickness of
time inches, and not exceeding six inches at anyone point. This
coal, which is also embraced in a succession of fissile shale, oon»-
pact and friable sandstone, varying from ten to thirty-five feet in
ttncJcness, was traced across section two, three, ten, eleven and
twelve, where in consequence of its being covered with debris, I
was unable to trace it farther.
A bed of bituminous coal, more than two feet thick, of a supe-
rior qnality, in town four north, range two east, occurs in the bed
and bank of Cedar river, Ingham county. It was traced along
tfie stream, for nearly half a mile, where, in consequence of its
dipping below the stream^ f was unable to trace it further. This
coal is overlayed by a broken down sandstone and fissile shale,
varying in thickness, from five to ten feet. In consequence of its
appearance io the bed of the stream, and the friable condition of
the sandstone, I was enabled to remove several bushels of coal,
which proved to be bituminous and of an excellent quality, con-
taining but very slight traces of iron pyrites. It is compact, has
a glossy lustre, ignites easily, bums with a light flame, and leaves
oriy a small quantity of earthy residue.
1 was infornned by Mr. Haden, that in excavating to repair
Mr- IngersoPs miH,oh the north bank of Grand river, in township
fiwr north, range Ihree west, coaF wds penetrated upwards of a
foot Tlie coal has a covering of coarse sand and pebbles, twelve
feet thick. Some of the coal was examined, which proved not
inlerior to that on Grindstone creek, Eaton county.
I may here be allowed to express my obBgations to many cen-
demea, for the information which they have rendered, and hos-
filalitT which has been extended to me.
COI4UMBUS C. DOUGLASS,
Detroit, January 28, 1839.
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490 HOUSE DOGUMBNTB.
Report of Beta HiMm^ Auukml Qeohgiat.
7b Douglass Houghton, State Geologist.
Sib — In compliance with your instructions, entrusting to mo
th^ geological supervision of the counties of Wayne and Moaroei»
I completed, late in the season, a detailed examination of those dis-
tricts* the most prominent results of which are now submitted.
It is hardly necessary to add, thai as the annual reports are de*
Bigned to embrace only subjects of immediate utility, coosidera-
tions of a theoretical nature have been avoided.
Collections as extensive as was practicable* and which illus-
Irate the subjects treated in the report, are deposited in the cabi-
nets attached to this department.
In the furtherance of your plans, much attention has also beee
bestowed towards a correction of the minute topography of the
country ; a task rendered peculiarly difficult in the older countiei^
on account of the imperfections of the originai surveys. It is
however believed, that sufficient accuracy aiKl completeness have
be^ attained to furnish greatly improved maps of this section of
• WAYNE CQUNtT.
Nearly the whole of Wayne county is included within that por-
tion of the peninsula, constituting, its eastern border, in which no
considerable prominences occur, and tiie descent to the coast is
gradual and uniform. In this county, consequently, if we except
the township in its northwest corner, the general level is varied
only by gentle undulations or isolated sand ridges, forming no
continuous ranges, and seldon) exceeding the relative height of 20
The greatest elevation of coast from Milk river poii^t on the
St. Clair, down to the Rouge, is about 20 feet ; from the Rouge
to the mouth of the straits, 10 feet.
Along the whole eastern border of the county, the ahitude at-
tained at distance of six miles from tlie coast, varies but little
from 33 to 36 feet« At a singly point only, in the vicinity of De-
troit, it attains to 45 feet above the river ; the general level of the
table land at this place being about 26 feet
A portion of this belt, three miles in width, extending through
the towns of Hamtramck, Greenfield and Springwells, falls from
the general level and is proportionately wet Below the Rouffe
this belt becomes intersected by wet prairies, extending over the
west half of Ecorce to the Huron river*
Throughout that portion of the county comprised in the bdt
Digitized by VjOOQ IC
HpnSB DOCUHBNTS. 4T1
abdfe mttitioiifld^ the ttrttuns flow with but moderate cunent;
have geoerally deep cbonnelt, and frequently spread into bixiad
marska near their embouchore» and even in high stages of the
water, to the distance of several miles inland* These borders of
marsh alluvion are Frequently many acres in extent ; as at Grand
Marais of Lake 8t Clair ; on the Rouge, Eooree, Brownalown
and Huron rivers.
Beyond the belt above described the land rises more rapkiiy,
attaining at the western line of the county to about 140 feet above
the straits. The streams are rapid and furnish abundant water
Two thirds of the county are flat^ heavily timbered lands, pro*
dueing a stout growth of oak, elm, white wood, maple, beech, lymv
(bass,) ash, hickory, butternut, black walnut, &c. Chesnut is
round on sandy ridges in the towns of Dearborn and Van Buren.
The remaining third is undulating oak openings, or plains inter*
ijpersed with wet, grassy prairies ; the latter c^inmg a proper*
lion of about ooe-mth. The proportion of actual swamp is smaH,
and probably little or none exists that may not be reclaimed by a
OQwrse of drainage properly conducted.
SoUt and AgricuUurai Character.
Clay and sand loams constitute the sdls of the timbered land.
These occupy nearly equal proportions of surface and often alter-
nate within short distances. The former derives its character
firom a bed of yellow or brown friable clay, which reposes upon
the extensive blue clay deposite immediately overlying the lime-
Clay is reached throughout the portions characterized by sandy
soil, at a depth of from 5 to 12 feet.
The upper clay has an average thickness of 5 feet. The low-
er clay is of a variegated blue color, gravelly, and intersected by
layers or strata of quicksand and gravel, This clay sometimes
approaches the surface, as in the vicinity of Detroit. Its average
thickness must exceed 100 feet
These soils are excellently adapted to agriculture. Silex en-
ters largely into their composition. Both clays generally contain
a large portion of lime,* which adds to their fertility. The con-
tained gravel assists to conduct away the surface waters and pre-
pare the ground for tillage, while the retentive powers of the clay
render it Tittle liable to suffer from drought. Thus, while the
sand loams may be cultivated to wheat and other grains, the
* Aa aDalyik of 100 graiDf of tht clays, takw at random, ibowad—
Upper Brown Clay. Lower Bhw day.
Sand and aifioeoiUiiBattar, 51«50 87^
AlomiiM, S9,95 53,30
Carb.liiDe, 18,55 18,98
OiUaiNo, . 00 i,a»
Digitized by VjOOQ IC
4Tt HOUaK DOCUMBNTa
gntior portton of the clay kiyifl is oirtonil meadkiw^ adaplMl 19
gmriii^k Its Talae for thi» parpose k b^^iiiniii^ to be andeiBlood^
aod it is probable that were its tnerits iairljr tested bj a syitem
of dairy mrmiag, it would prove productive of a profit to tbebo»'
baodmaii, second to none in the state.
The sandy oak openings and plains are generally productive.
They possess the advantage of being easily tiUed, and are w<eil
adapted to grain and root crops. Sotne ^potixotm produce good
wheat. This soil contains ooty a minute proportion of lime.
No part of the county can be said strictly to have a lifneMons
soil. The great limerock formation approaches the surboe al
several points in Brownstown aod Monguagout but is in general
too deeply covered by the clays lo allow it to characterine a lai^
extent of soil.
In the town of Pljrmouth, a difierent character of country pro«
vails from any yet (tescribed. This town amt part of the twoad-
joioing, may be considered as^ lying without the border portieo of
the peninsula, in which I have described Wayne county as inda*
This township presents a sonrfaoe mere roUmg, aad brd[ea inlo
frequent ridges. They rise often from 60 to 80 feet from the
plain, with a steep declivity, and having no apparent uniform di-
rection. They are composed of gravel associated at the aurfiKe
with a clay loan). For the production of wheat, probably thiaeoU
is not excelled.
The boundary between the land of this character and the more
level tract which constitutes the whole remainder of the county*
is strongly marked by a low gravelly ridge, the supposed former
stiore of the lake. Its course is southwest through a comer of
the town of Livonia, entering Plymouth between sections 18 aod
13v passing a little to tlie east of Plymouth corners ; thence through
section 33, into the town of Canton, which it leaver on sectioo 3ik
As but a small portion of this ridge is found in Wayne coualy, m
particular -description is deferred to a future report.
No part of the county can be denominated stony. Imbedded
in the clays, and occasionally found grouped upon the surface, ara
water- worn boulders or fragments of the primary rocks. A spe-
cies of reddish granite predominates, occurring frequently of moro
than a tpn weight. Boulders are found in great numbeiB in
the town of Plymouth, a large proportion being of fossiliferooe
limerock. Limestone boulders are also numerous in the bed of
Huron river, sometimes of large size. Occasional banks of cMle
ttones were found heaped along its sides, of a siae suitable for pa-
An interesting locality of boulder rocks was met with ai Baw-
Digitized by V?OOQ IC
HOOSB DOCUBfEIf T8. 41«
bad exposed a bed of limestone and clay-slate rocks, thickly dei
posited near the wster's edge, to the depth of several ieet. The
slates were often o< two to three feet diametei% of daik oolor* fit*
sile, and containii^ iron pyrites.
Marshes &t Wet PraMei
Comprise extensive tracts; they are of gepetally similar cfaa-
racter, being low portions of the sandy openings that have baea
subject to an overflow of water for a sufficient period to allow
a deposition of muck or peat from vegetable decomposition* This
peat supports a growth of wild grass, destined t6 add annually to
us accumulation. Thus what were ponds^ become by this pro*
oess extensive beds of vegetable soil, varying in humidity with
the seasoDBu Iliese beds haye a depth of from one to six leet»
'Indications are apparent which prove that very many# at leastt
of these peat marshes had their origin in the labors of the hntver,
aided by the natural conforcpation of the surface. They occupy
gently rolling tracts, in which ridges of sandy ** openings'* and de-
tached prominences or islands of the same are intersected by long
bands of marsh» Nearly all the streams of the border townships
head in these tracts, and it is easy to conceive how the portions
now converted into marsli might have been flooded by the ob-
struction of those natural channels.
If this view be correct, the practicability of drainage becomes
at ooce established ; and such conclusion is verified by actual re*
The followii^ comprise the principal marshes of the county ;
About fourteen sections, two-thirds of which are in the town of
Hamtramck and the remaining third in Oakland county, are of
the character above described ; but not more than one-half this
extent is actual prairie. This yields an abundant growth of wild
hay. The marsh is now in the progress of successful draioi|gQ»
A thickness of fibrous peat is disclosed, averaging four feet, auc*
ceeded by a subsoil of gray sand* nearly free from aluminoua and
rrairie of similar character occurs in towns of Greeofieldt fted*
ferd and Royal Oak. . It covers 8 sections, one-half of which is
in Oakland county. Comparatively a small portion consists of dry
openings, and one half bears a dense growth of small tanuiracL
Its soil varies in (jepth from three to six feet, and is in many pla<*
ces so charged with water as to be tremulpus. It produces
lai^ quantities of cranberries.
Prairies of a different character occur iit the lower part of the
county, over a surface of 46 sections* of which 18 are included in
Digitized by VjOOQ IC
wwn erf* "Ecotae, 11 in Browtistown, 7 in lUmutai ind 10 ia
'Branches of the Boorce and Brawostown Greeks mea»der thi«
trikii. Thttse, flowing with iinle dosoent through line* of lerel
prairie, are ramified in every diredSony and form anet #ork or
connected chain of ruarshet: ovof ^ whole surface. The dry
portions consist of sandy plains, frequently but little elevated
a6t>Yc the sorrotinding marshest ahd producing a scattered j^owth
«f yellow and white oaks. They somethne* ^ssnme the form of
aidgesj Pfhnth continue unbroken for tnany rods, and without uny
ilnifcrnfr direction. The marshy portlonst which generatty predo-
minate, hare a soil of black muck, intermisred with sand waAed
ftom the adjoining plams, averagmg 3 to 8 feet in depth. Tbii
h covered by a few inches of light, fibrous peat Subsoil h tand*
fo a ibw instances clay was found approaching th^ surfiice, ted it
undoubtedly underlies at no great depth.
' WiM hay is cut 6n these marshes hi considerable quantities.
* According to reports of the Imiians, beavers disappeared fltrni