Howell Area Archives Digital Archive

Paving Grand River

Grand River was first established as a trail by the Indigenous  tribes of southern lower Michigan; eventually widening and growing as the population increased and transportation evolved from foot, to horseback, to carriage, to automobile.  By 1852 the Detroit-Howell-Lansing Plank Road was completed.  Unfortunately, maintenance costs were high and within 30 years the entire planking was replaced by graded roads.  

The Wolverine Pavedway Association  was a campaign by a number of businessmen from across the state of Michigan.  The goal was a paved road running the course of Grand River from Grand Haven to Detroit.  Howell had a local group called the “Howell Boomers” who supported the project.  

 In 1911 the village council of Howell voted to pave Grand River with brick from Byron Road to Barnard Street.  The work began in late 1915, supported by a bond passed by residents and by 1917 the residents again voted in favor to expand the paved area from the Genoa Township line to Howell Township on the west. 

  • Jaehnig, D.L. ed, The Howell Bicentennial History 1776-1976 (Part 2 of 3), pages 223-421. Howell Area Archives Digital Archive, Located here.