Thursday, June 02, 2005

Immense Dam Considered

Back in 1905 the Michigan Central Railroad considered the constructiion of an immense dam across the Huron River, at a place called Hudson, north of Dexter. This dam would have doubled the level of Portage Lake. It would affected the riveralong its length. The Michigan Central was considering the building of the dam to use the fall of the water as a source of power for its trains. The M.C.R.R. was thinking of turning all of its trains to electric power in place of steam. At this time the Michigan Central ran eight passenger trains daily, consuming twenty tons of coal each. The railroad was interested in finding a way to replace this fast diminishing product. The dam was never built, instead, Henry Ford built several dams along the Huron during the 1920's and 1930's to power his factories, including the one at Bridge Road.

It might be interesting to think about how the building of this immense dam at Hudson would have changed everything. Just think, the Michigan Central running its trains on hydo produced electric power instead of steam in the early 20th century. How would the Huron River, and perhaps how we live today, might have been changed if the dam had been built?


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