Ueno Daibutsu in Tokyo

Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal in Rochester Hills, Michigan

When Michigan officially became a state in 1837 its first governor, Stevens T. Mason, immediately began looking for ways to develop the land economically. The newly completed Erie Canal was seeing great success as a quick means of transportation, and Mason sought to develop a similar project in Michigan.
Before the advent of railroads, shipping by boat was the easiest way to transport goods to Chicago, one of the largest midwestern cities at the time.