Sunday, August 15, 2010
Bridges to the bins
But the real problem was too much water. In the first decades of the 1800's, the incoming Yankee farmers found the land in southern Michigan to be basically swamp and wetlands, with occasional oak openings. It needed draining to make tillable fields for growing crops. As a result, the office of drain commissioner dates to to 1837, when first bill passed by the Michigan Legislature was a drainage act and the creation of drain commissioners at the township level. In 1897, the drain commission was made a county office elected every four years during the Presidential elections. For more on this unique Michigan office, see this Wikipedia article: Drain Commissioner. Because the drain commissioner can levy tax assessments for needed construction or repair of drains, it is an often very controversial post.
Enough arcane Michigan local history, for real bridges please visit Sunday Bridges hosted by Louis la Vache proprietor of the Holy Cow Coffee Company.