1995 : Remains of Lansing to Howell Plank Road Discovered

June 30, 2018 all-day

On June 30, 1995, workers reconstructing Grand River Avenue in East Lansing, Michigan, ran into a series of logs lying side by side two feet below the road surface. An on-site technician from the Michigan Department of Transportation recognized the logs as a significant historical discovery, the remains of one of Michigan’s early plank roads.

Begun in the summer of 1850, the Lansing and Howell opened in June 1851 connecting with the Detroit and Howell Plank Road. The plank roads were subject to heavy traffic. Warped, worn and missing planks made passage a trial as illustrated in a poem by Asa H. Stoddard, “Riding on the Plank”.

Sources :

An Old Plank Road in Lansing

Justin Engel, “Saginaw crews unearth more historic plank road; ‘This is a gold mine,’ preservationist says”, MLive, April 21, 2010.

The Plank Road Law, March 20, 1850, forming the Lansing and Howell Plank Road Company.

Plank roads website from Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Plank roads website from Kalamazoo Public Library

Plank Road Craze in Michigan

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