Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member GT.US
N 42° 16.216 W 083° 40.332
17T E 279625 N 4683242
Geddesburg was a historical settlement along the Huron River near Geddes
Waymark Code: WM3CH7
Location: Michigan, United States
Date Posted: 03/15/2008
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member S5280ft
Views: 44

The Sign Reads:
Founded in 1832 by John and Robert Geddes, the agricultural milling hamlet of Geddesburg illustrates the tradition of water power economic opportunity which spurred westward expansion in 19th century America. Traversed by two Native American trails, the narrow of the Huron River between Chalmers and Fleming Creeks, was a strategic location. In 1824 Robert Fleming used creek water to power the first sawmill in Washtenaw County. The Geddes brothers harnessed the Huron River and constructed a saw mill in 1826. Paper pulp, Lime plaster and grist mills followed as more entrepreneurs built dams. A grist mill and a cider mill, built in the lat 1800's by William Parker, are still extant and part of the Parker mill Complex owned by the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, built along the rivers southern shore in 1839, enabled transportation of mill and farm products.

Geddesburg, with it's school, post office, train depot, farms, mills and vernacular Greek revival houses, prospered along both sides of the Huron. John Geddes (1801-1889) was a state representative, township supervisor, justice of the Peace, as well as founding member of the Michigan Pioneer Society. Geddesgurg's location, 34 miles from Detroit, was also the route of fugitive slaves following the Underground Railroad in the decades before and during the civil war. John Geddes reportedly served as a "conductor" to freedom in Canada.

At the turn of the century, Ann Arbor water and Gas Company developed a steam plant on the original Geddes grist mill site. Washtenaw light and power company purchased Geddes riverfront property for a larger dam to power steam turbines. By 1913, Detroit Edison had acquired property for five hydroelectric plants along the Huron. They were known as Geddes, Barton, Argo, Superior and French Landing. To house the five plant supervisors, Detroit Edison bought three existing homes, and built two more on DECO court, just south of the river.

The Geddes Dam was rebuilt in a major construction project, and this hydroelectric dam operated from 1915-1959. It is no longer extant. The noted landscape architecture firm of Frederick Law Olmstead was commissioned to design naturalistic landscapes for large tracts of the companies land. Farmland, formerly belonging to Robert Geddes was developed for recreational use by Detroit Edison employees. Vivienne Farms was a spacious weekend vacation center for its female employees. The substation property was sold to the city of Ann Arbor.

Washtenaw County AN-52 Historical Marker

Historical Name: Geddesburg

Marker Text is in large box

Parking nearby?: yes

D/T ratings:

Registered Site #: Washtenaw County AN-52 Historical Marker

Historical Date: Not listed

website: Not listed

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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
bobfrapples8 visited Geddesburg 04/09/2021 bobfrapples8 visited it
Team B Squared visited Geddesburg 04/02/2012 Team B Squared visited it

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