Page 8 - Clinton Currents Fall 2018
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Page 8
Fall 2018
Celebrating Clinton Township's 200th birthday with Bicentennial “bites”
The Moravian Settlement
In July of 1782, Moravian missionary David Zeisberger and his followers founded a small settlement along the river in the area west of present-day Mount Clemens. Accounts vary as to the number of cabins that were initially built but a map made by Zeisberger shows 29 cabins and a large meeting house or chapel. Zeisburger’s diary revealed that the settlement was actually erected over the remains of an abandoned Native American village. The Moravian’s were not the first settlers on the river but became the first European’s to build in what eventually became Clinton Township.
Near the end of 1785, Moravian missionaries and Christianized Delaware Indians began the task of laying a road from their settlement on the river near Mount Clemens, to Fort Detroit. When finished, it became known as the Moravian Trail. The twenty-three and a half mile wagon-way through the bush was Michigan’s first interior road. Today, you can trace the road’s course as it runs south from Moravian Road to Schoenherr Road, down to Gratiot Avenue and Six Mile Road, and then to the Coleman A. Young International Airport.
Missionary David Zeisberger
The First Interior Road in Michigan
Moravian Road historical marker
The Clinton River
Before it was the Clinton River, the waterway that threads west to east from its source in northern Oakland County to Lake St. Clair was known as the “River Huron.”To avoid confusion with the many other places called Huron in eastern Michigan, it was renamed in 1824 to honor the Governor of New York, DeWitt Clinton, who had been instrumental in the construction of the Erie Canal. Clinton Township was then named for the river, which forks into three branches within a mile of the original Moravian settlement.
DeWitt Clinton

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