Located on Chicago Road west of Bronson in highway park, the Historic Marker text:
One of the great routes for the pioneers coming west was the Chicago Road. The survey of the road began at Detroit in 1825 and followed closely the Sauk Trail which Indians had marked and traveled for centuries before the coming of the white man. Because of its many curves the road was likened to a huge serpent. Lazily pursuing its onward course, utterly unconcerned as to its destination. Originally designed as a military highway linking the forts at Detroit and Chicago. The road proved to be more important in opening southern Michigan to settlement and as a westward land route enabling travelers to avoid the long voyage by boat around lower Michigan. By the 1830s pioneer families by the thousands each year were moving over this road in their wagons. By 1835 the Western Stage Company of Detroit was running two stages daily to Chicago. Much of the road was little more than an unimproved trail, making a trip over it an unforgettable and an uncomfortable experience. Buildings from that bygone age still stand along US-12, the Chicago Road’s descendant.
Historian Notes (David McDonald):
The Ole Sauk Trail started out as the longest known Mammoth trail found in North America. It is believed to be about 24,000 years old. It was used by the Sauk Indians whose nomadic migration habits took them from modern day Minnesota to the future land of Michigan. Early settlers would take passage across Lake Erie to land in the Territorial Capital (Detroit) of Michigan. This was the trailhead of both the St. Joseph Trail and the Sauk Trail. It was then identified as a military road and work began to widen and improve the trail from Detroit to Chicago. A large percentage of settlers used this route as their means to move across the new state and find land for homesteading.