Michigan and Washington Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48226
Public Access: Yes
State Register Date: May 4, 1966
State Marker Erected: October 13, 1966
About the Chicago Road
The Great Sauk Trail, the most important Indian trail in the Great Lakes region, was used later by French explorers, fur traders, missionaries and soldiers. After the 1760s, the trail became a major road for British and American travelers. In the early 1800s, when a military road was needed to connect Detroit with Fort Dearborn (Chicago), Territorial Governor Lewis Cass and Father Gabriel Richard, an influential legislator, were leading supporters of the Great Sauk Trail route. With federal backing the road was surveyed in 1825 and built in 1829-1836. Many sections of the road were paved with huge oak logs, covered with a layer of dirt. Even before the road was improved, land-hungry settlers moved west from Detroit via the Chicago Road - now called Michigan Avenue."