Saginaw’s Early History
The area of the present City of Saginaw was inhabited by woodland Native American Indians prior to settlement by those of European ancestry. The Saginaw region includes an extensive network of many rivers and streams which converge into the Saginaw River and provided a means for easy travel for the Native American population among numerous settlements and hunting areas, as well as access to Lake Huron. The a settler by the name Father Henri Nouvel in the year 1675. In 1819 the people that were in Saginaw area were from the Sauk and Chippewa Native American tribes, also people from the European fur trappers and traders lived with them. In that same year Europeans eventually established a permanent settlement that would draw families into Saginaw.
The French controlled the territory consisting of the present day State of Michigan until it was ceded to the British following the Seven Years’ War in 1763. It was not until after the conclusion of the War of 1812 that all presence of British military was removed from what is present-day Michigan. Soon after, in 1816, Louis Campau made the first attempt at permanent settlement at Saginaw by setting up a trading post. Trails leading from Detroit and the Mackinac area began to provide a slow start to Saginaw’s development. However, what was the biggest impact of 1819 was the treaty of Saginaw that was signed which would take land from Native American tribes and added them to the US territory. This was at the instigation of the Territorial Government with the main goal of controlling the actions of the Ojibwe in the region.
Later in 1822 fort Saginaw was established, but three years later it was abandoned by the military. A group of investors purchased some land near the fort and had it platted under the name “Town of Sagana”. In January 28th, 1835 Saginaw County was organized and soon after Saginaw Township was organized in 1830. Soon thereafter the U.S. Army established a fort on the west bank of the Saginaw River and gave it the name Fort Saginaw.Due to the undesirable conditions of intense humidity and mosquito infestation, the Fort was abandoned by 1824.
(History of Saginaw County, Michigan: Historical, Commercial, Biographical, Volume 1)