In 1835 Dr. Daniel H. Fitzhugh visited the prairie area along the Saginaw river north of East Saginaw. He fell in love with the area and purchased a tract of land about where the Consumer’s Energy plant is north of the bridge. A few years later in 1848 the Johnson brothers, Daniel and Soloman, came to the Saginaw valley from New York and built a sawmill south of the Doctor Fitzhugh’s property. The village grew with a boarding house and several other businesses as the brothers laid down a plank road to the city of East Saginaw with lumber from their mill. In 1854 Zilwaukee Towship was formed and as the story goes, according to several sources I have found, the brothers named the village Zilwaukee with the hopes it would confuse immigrants coming into New York thinking they are going to Milwaukee. I am not sure if their scheme to attract immigrants ever panned out but Zilwaukee is still around and has a big beautiful bridge too, but that’s a post for a different day.
P.S. I like how my computer tries to auto correct Zilwaukee to Milwaukee
I will be at the Kempton Elementary spring bazaar on March 11th selling t-shirts, I hope you will stop by and say hi. If you can’t make it to the bazaar, you can also order shirts HERE
I hope you will Subscribe to Pure Saginaw, sometimes you may miss what I post on your facebook newsfeed