Civil War-Era 'Corduroy Road' Uncovered in Michigan

The road is made of logs
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2017 6:34 PM CDT
Beneath Michigan Town, a Civil War-Era Surprise
Logs discovered as part of Grand Haven Township's corduroy roads.   (Grand Haven Township)

Before the days of asphalt, Americans got around on "corduroy roads" made of logs, which were particularly useful for traversing swampy stretches of land. In a welcome blast from the past, Michigan's own versions have resurfaced after more than a century. Workers digging for a construction project in Grand Haven Township on the shore of Lake Michigan have discovered various stretches of "corduroy road" totaling more than 100 feet since mid-July, reports MLive. A township Facebook post notes the roads were found in "wet sand."

Officials had been aware of one corduroy road buried in town, per Atlas Obscura. But discovering additional stretches some five miles away "was a pleasant surprise," says one township official. Officials believe the corduroy roads—named for the textile, which has a similar linear pattern, per Smithsonian—were built sometime between 1855, when Grand Haven Township was a logging town, and the end of the Civil War era. Portions will be preserved and displayed at the Tri-Cities Historical Museum. (This Civil War sub is no longer a "corroded artifact.")

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