1861 : Amboy, Lansing and Traverse Bay Railroad Receives Federal Land Grant

January 5, 2018 all-day

The Amboy, Lansing and Traverse Bay  (ALTB) Railroad is a defunct railroad which operated in the state of Michigan during the 1850s and 1860s. Initially planned as an ambitious land grant railroad which would run the length of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, poor finances and politically-motivated routes frustrated these aims. The AL&TB was one of several railroads chartered in the 1850s to take advantage of a land grant program instituted by the federal government. Under an act of 1856 and successive acts Michigan had in its gift over 5,000,000 acres (20,000 km2) of land which could be given to railroads in exchange for constructing certain routes.

The railroad had failed to reach Lansing at the time the Civil War broke out, so army recruits had to take the stage to Jackson to enlist.


Michigan History Magazine, January-February 2016

Amos Gould, born in Aurelius, New York on December 3, 1808. Moved to Owosso, Michigan in 1843

From the time of his arrival in Michigan in 1843, Gould speculated in land, much of which he purchased at tax sales. When the demand for Michigan pine skyrocketed following the Civil War, Gould cut, sawed, and marketed lumber on a rather large scale near Owosso. His brother, David, also was involved in the lumber industry in the vicinity of St. Charles and Chesaning, Michigan.

Gould served as the attorney for the Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad Company, 1852-1881, a position which was quite involved with the acquisition of land for its right-of-way from Pontiac westward to Grand Haven, Michigan. He also promoted the establishment of the Amboy, Lansing, and Traverse Bay Railroad (one of Michigan’s first land grant roads), and directed construction of its first section, from Owosso to Lansing, Michigan.

Finding aid for Amos Gould Family Papers, Clarke Historical Library Central Michigan University.

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