“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Eagle River in Keweenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Douglass Houghton

Douglass Houghton Marker (<i>side 1</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2017
1. Douglass Houghton Marker (side 1)
Inscription.  Douglass Houghton, Michigan’s first State Geologist, was born in Troy, New York, on September 21, 1809. He studied under Amos Eaton at the Van Renssaeler Polytechnic School in Troy. In 1828 he graduated and became a professor of chemistry and natural history. In 1830 Michigan Territorial Governor Lewis Cass asked Eaton to recommend a public lecturer for chemistry and geology. Eaton chose Houghton, who moved to Detroit. In 1831 he became the surgeon and botanist for Henry Rowe Schoolcraft’s expedition to discover the source of the Mississippi River. During the trip, Houghton studied smallpox among the Chippewa Indians, was a correspondent for the Detroit Journal, and recorded more than two hundred plants. From 1832 to 1836 he practiced medicine in Detroit. In 1838 he became a professor at the University of Michigan.

Douglass Houghton became the State Geologist of Michigan in 1837. His primary task was leading the Geological Survey of Michigan. During annual surveys, Houghton and his team explored rivers, salt springs, and mineral deposits. In 1841 Houghton reported to the state legislature that copper deposits on the Keweenaw
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Peninsula could be commercially mined. This led to a copper mining rush in 1843-44 and the development of the region into the center of the copper mining industry in the United States. Houghton became a founding member of the Association of American Geologists and Naturalists in 1843 and was mayor of Detroit from 1843 to 1844. On October 13, 1845, Houghton and two men drowned when their boat capsized near here during a storm on Lake Superior; two other men and Houghton’s dog, Meeme, survived.
Erected 2016 by Michigan Historical Commission - Michigan Historical Center. (Marker Number S740.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationExplorationIndustry & CommerceScience & Medicine. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list. A significant historical date for this entry is September 21, 1809.
Location. 47° 24.758′ N, 88° 17.783′ W. Marker is in Eagle River, Michigan, in Keweenaw County. Marker is at the intersection of 4th Street and Sand Dunes Drive (State Route 26), on the right when traveling west on 4th Street. Marker is located on the west side of the Eagle River Museum (the old Eagle River School House). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5059 4th St, Mohawk MI 49950, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of
Douglass Houghton Marker (<i>side 2</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2017
2. Douglass Houghton Marker (side 2)
this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lake Shore Drive Bridge / Eagle River (a few steps from this marker); Joseph Blight, Sr. (within shouting distance of this marker); Main Street Bridge Project (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Douglass Houghton (approx. 0.2 miles away); Eagle River (approx. 0.2 miles away); New Snowfall Record 390.4 Inches (approx. 3.7 miles away); Sand Hills Lighthouse (approx. 3.8 miles away); Lake Superior (approx. 4.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Eagle River.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Douglass Houghton (Wikipedia). Although Houghton resided in Detroit during his years in Michigan, he is strongly associated with the Keweenaw Peninsula. He explored the area in 1831 and 1832, and conducted a survey of the peninsula in 1840 as State Geologist of the newly formed state. Houghton's 1841 survey report was 88 pages in length and prompted a major rush of settlers to the peninsula. (Submitted on July 13, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Douglass Houghton. In 1842, Houghton was elected as Mayor of Detroit, a position he was at first reluctant to accept as he was unaware that he had been nominated.
Douglass Houghton Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2017
3. Douglass Houghton Marker
(Eagle River Museum in background)
Upon the advice of his friends he accepted the position, a post he held for two consecutive terms. Houghton County and the city of Houghton, Michigan are named after Douglass Houghton, as well as Houghton Lake, Michigan's largest inland lake. (Submitted on July 13, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
Eagle River Museum image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 2, 2017
4. Eagle River Museum
Formerly the Eagle River School House, currently serves as the Houghton Township Community Building and houses the Keweenaw County Historical Society.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 13, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 217 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on September 13, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 13, 2020, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 25, 2024