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flag  History of Jackson, Michigan, USA

Journey back in time to Jackson, Michigan, USA

Visit Jackson, Michigan, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Jackson, Michigan, USA - Main Street Looking East

On July 3, 1829, Horace Blackman, accompanied by Alexander Laverty, a land surveyor, and an Indian guide forded the Grand River and made camp for the night at what is now Trail and N. Jackson Street. They arrived in Jackson on a well-traveled Indian trail leading west from Ann Arbor. Blackman hired Laverty and Pewytum to guide him west. Blackman returned to Ann Arbor and then Monroe and registered his claim for 160 acres (65 ha) at two dollars an acre. Blackman returned to Jackson in August 1829, with his brother Russell. Together they cleared land and built a cabin on the corner of what would become Ingham and Trail streets. The town was first called Jacksonopolis. Later, it was renamed Jacksonburgh. Finally, in 1838 the town's name was changed to simply Jackson.

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There is MUCH more to discover about Jackson, Michigan, USA. Read on!

Jackson Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Main Street Looking East
Jackson, Michigan, USA

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Main Street Looking East
No. 1 Fire Department
Jackson, Michigan, USA

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No. 1 Fire Department
Otsego Hotel
Jackson, Michigan, USA

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Otsego Hotel
Gresco
There is nothing in Corset-dom to compare with it

Michigan Corset Co., Jackson, Mich.
Jackson, Michigan, USA

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Gresco
There is nothing in Corset-dom to compare with it

Michigan Corset Co., Jackson, Mich.

The Ladies' Home Journal
February 1898
Bennet Stock Farm Barn, Jackson, Mich.
Jackson, Michigan, USA

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Bennet Stock Farm Barn, Jackson, Mich.
Michigan I.O.O.F. State Home
Jackson, Michigan, USA

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Michigan I.O.O.F. State Home
City Hospital
Jackson, Michigan, USA

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City Hospital
State Prison
postmarked 1907
Jackson, Michigan, USA

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State Prison
postmarked 1907
Hotel Hayes
Jackson, Michigan, USA

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Hotel Hayes
St. Paul's Church
Jackson, Michigan, USA

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St. Paul's Church
St. Joseph's Home
Jackson, Michigan, USA

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St. Joseph's Home
Michigan Central Shops
postmarked 1910
Jackson, Michigan, USA

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Michigan Central Shops
postmarked 1910
Masonic Temple
Jackson, Michigan, USA

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Masonic Temple
Hayes Wheel Company Works
postmarked 1922
Jackson, Michigan, USA

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Hayes Wheel Company Works
postmarked 1922

Discover Jackson: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
Jackson was first settled in 1829
On July 3, 1829, Horace Blackman, accompanied by Alexander Laverty, a land surveyor, and an Indian guide forded the Grand River and made camp for the night at what is now Trail and N. Jackson Street. They arrived in Jackson on a well-traveled Indian trail leading west from Ann Arbor. Blackman hired Laverty and Pewytum to guide him west. Blackman returned to Ann Arbor and then Monroe and registered his claim for 160 acres at two dollars an acre. Blackman returned to Jackson in August 1829, with his brother Russell. Together they cleared land and built a cabin on the corner of what would become Ingham and Trail streets. The town was first called Jacksonopolis. Later, it was renamed Jacksonburgh. Finally, in 1838 the town's name was changed to simply Jackson.
wikipedia.org
Michigan State Prison or Jackson State Prison, which opened in 1839, was the first prison in Michigan.

wikipedia.org
The Republican party began in Jackson in 1854
On July 6, 1854, a state convention of anti-slavery men met to establish a new political party. The large crowd could not be accommodated in the hall and had to convene under an oak grove on “Morgan's Forty”. Here, the
Republican Party was born.
http://www.experiencejackson.com/images/uploads/17262-Historic_Attraction_Brochure_lowres_final_with
1854 - Jackson
Jackson, a post-township in the central part of Jackson co.. Michigan. Pop., 4147.

Jackson, a flourishing town in the town ship of the same name, and capital of Jack son county, Michigan, is situated on Grand river, near its source, and on the Central railroad, 76 miles W. from Detroit, and 38 miles S. by E. from Lansing. A plank-road is in process of construction from Lansing to this place. The river affords an extensive water-power, which is employed in factories and mills of various kinds. Jackson contains, besides the county buildings, 5 churches, 1 seminary for young ladies, 2 printing offices, and the state penitentiary, in which about 170 convicts are employed in mechanical labor. Population in 1853, about 3500.
A New and Complete Gazetteer of the United States: Giving a Full and Comprehensive Review of the Present Condition, Industry, and Resources of the American Confederacy ... Thomas Baldwin (of Philadelphia.) Joseph Thomas January 1, 1854 Philadelphia : Lippincott, Grambo & Company 1854.
1873 - Railroad station built in Jackson

http://www.experiencejackson.com/things-to-do/michigan-history/
1874 - A CRASH AT THE STATE PRISON.
DETROIT, Dec. 30. The center portion of of [sic] the building at the State Prison, Jackson, Mich., fell yesterday. The building was three stories high, and had been used formerly as a tannery, but at present was occupied by a cigar contractor named Hollingsworth. There were only three men in the building at the time of the accident, 150 men having just left. The lower story had been used as a dining room until Monday last. The building was badly built, having no solid support, and was condemned four months ago. Hollingsworth lost half a million cigars and a large quantity of tobacco.
Bangor Daily Whig and Courier
Bangor, Maine
January 1, 1874
Founded in 1884, the Jackson Corset Co. became the largest manufacturer of corset and waist garments in the US.

wikipedia.org
1884 - THE WORK OF DEATH. FOUR LIVES LOST AT A FIRE IN JACKSON, MICHIGAN. SURROUNDED BY FLAMES THE VICTIMS JUMP FOR THEIR LIVES.
Jackson, Mich., Feb. 26. - A conflagration swept away the Union Hall block, a four-story building, costing $125,000 in 1864, and containing four stores, a bank, a hotel and a theatre, and also burned to the ground three frame buildings and half destroyed two more, which joined the Union block on the east. Four lives are reported lost, but the body of only one has been found. It proved to be that of CHARLES CORNELL, a crippled soldier. JOHN PRIOR, MRS. BANKS, a colored waiter, and an unknown colored man are yet missing.

Three inmates of the house hung from third-story windows of the frame buildings in their night clothes for a time, when two jumped and were badly injured.

JAMES HERNES, of Cleveland, struck the telegraph wires, was whirled into the air, and fell to the walk, breaking his collar bone and left shoulder and bruising his head. He will die.

CHARLES KIMBALL, of Kalamazoo, jumped and received a severe scalp wound and injured his left hip and knee, but will... Read MORE...

1893 - HORRIBLE R. R. WRECK - Seventeen Passengers Killed and Fifty-two Others Injured. THE AIR BREAKS FAILED TO WORK
And Causes a Heavily Loaded Second Section to Crash Into the First Section Causing Loss of Life to Many and Serious Injury to Others - Every Undertaking Establishment in Jackson is Overrun With Dead Bodies – List of the Killed.

JACKSON, Mich., Oct. 13. - One of the most frightful railroad accidents of the year occurred here at 9:40 this morning. The second section of an Oswego special ran into the rear of the first section, telescoping two coaches, smashing cars and crushing the life out of scores of people.

Inside of twenty minutes six dead bodies were taken out and the work had only been begun. A wrecking train was just coming to the scene to shift the cars. The wreck is just east of the Michigan Central depot on the main track.

Engineer BILL WHALEN, who was running the last section, in explaining the cause of the wreck said: “I saw a signal in the yard to keep back, and had my engine in hand, as I thought, but when I came down near the train which was standing still, my... Read MORE...

1895 - Jackson
Jackson, a city, the capital of Jackson co., Mich., is on Grand River, and on the Michigan Central Railroad where it crosses the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Rail road, 76 miles W. of Detroit, 37 miles S. of Lansing, and 94 miles S.E. of Grand Rapids. It is the S.E. terminus of the Grand River Valley Railroad and the E. terminus of the Air Line division of the Central Railroad, and is connected with Saginaw by the Central Railroad. It contains the state prison, with about 700 convicts, about 17 churches, 2 national banks, 3 other banks, 14 school buildings with 70 teachers, 2 high schools, and printing-offices which issue 3 daily and 5 weekly newspapers. It has also gas-works, Holly water-works, electric lights, an electric street-railway, 4 flouring-mills, 4 machine-shops, 3 foundries, 4 sash- and blind-factories, 5 planing-mills, 4 breweries, 2 manufactories of furniture, 3 of agricultural implements, 7 of carriages and wagons, 1 of chemicals, 1 of railroad-cars, 3 of pumps, 3 of... Read MORE...

1897 - OPERA HOUSE IN ASHES.
Jackson, Mich., March 1. - The Hibbard opera house burned to the ground Saturday evening. The fire started from the furnace in the basement and spread rapidly. Nothing was saved. The loss is $25,000; insurance, $10,000.
Stevens Point Daily Journal
Wisconsin
March 1, 1897
1914 - FIVE ARE KILLED IN HEAD-ON CRASH. FREIGHT AND PASSENGER TRAINS ON MICHIGAN CENTRAL COLLIDE AT JACKSON. THE DEATH LIST MAY BE LARGER. SEVERAL ARE MISSING AND SOME OF THE SERIOUSLY INJURED MAY DIE.
Jackson, Mich., Jan. 26. - The bodies of four persons were removed early today from the wreck of the Michigan Central passenger train No. 70 from Bay City to Jackson, which met headon with a northbound extra freight a few miles north of Jackson last night. Rescue workers continued to search the debris for more bodies late this morning, as several persons are missing. A dozen passengers on the train were seriously injured and several of them, now in local hospitals, are believed to be dying.

The Dead.
CAL JOHNSON, engineer of passenger train.
S. W. COCHRAN of Lansing, Mich.
THOMAS SCROOGIE, Owosso, Mich.
L. V. BECK, Jackson, Mich.
The seriously injured include:
ARTHUR CHANEY, Detroit, both legs broken, badly cut, may die.
JEFFERSON DAVIS, St. Charles, Mich., scalp wound, internally injured, may die.
F. R. CHAMPION, passenger fireman, injured in jumping.
JOHN BUSH, freight engineer, injured in jumping.
MOTT SHERWOOD, Jackson, Michigan Central master mechanic, hips... Read MORE...

2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Jackson, Michigan:
Ella Sharp Museum: This museum is a great place to start your journey through Jackson's history and culture. It features exhibits on local art, history, and a beautiful historic farmhouse.

Cascades Falls Park: Explore the natural beauty of Jackson at Cascades Falls Park. You can take a leisurely walk through the park, have a picnic, or enjoy the beautiful waterfall. In the summer, there are often concerts and events here.

Falling Waters Trail: If you're a fan of biking, jogging, or just taking a stroll, the Falling Waters Trail is a 10.5-mile path that offers scenic views and a peaceful escape into nature.

Cell Block 7 Prison Museum: For a unique and somewhat eerie experience, visit the Cell Block 7 Prison Museum, located in a retired state prison. You can take a guided tour to learn about the history of the facility and the life of inmates.

Michigan Theatre: This historic theater has been beautifully restored and hosts a variety of events, including live performances,... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Jackson Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Jackson, Michigan, USA

We currently have information about 156 ancestors who were born or died in Jackson.

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Updated: 9/15/2023 11:18:50 AM