"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door" … "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to."
~ Bilbo Baggins from The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkein

Historical Timeline

Native Americans, French Explorers, Fur Trading
·      First human inhabitants migrate to the Great Lakes region following the herds of large mastodons moving north as the glaciers melt
·      Old Copper Culture Indiana first metal fabricators
1000BC –
·      Woodland Indian Culture - agriculture, pottery, burial mounds
·      Hopewell Woodland Culture – large earthworks and exotic traded materials
·      Mississippian Woodland Culture - permanent villages, effigy mounds, agriculture, fishing
·      Earliest encounters between Indians and Europeans in Great Lakes Region. (Chippewa, Menomonee, Sauk, Fox, Winnebago, Miami, Ottawa, Potawatomi)
1608 - 1620
·      Champlain establishes Quebec as French fur trading base – aligns with Huron tribe vs Iroquois
·      Zacharie Cloutier, Suzie’s earliest immigrant ancestor, amongst a group of paid, French laborers arrives in 1619. Subsequently returns to France.
·      Jean Nicollet discovers Lake Michigan, lands at Green Bay thinking he was in China
·      Zacharie Cloutier, returns to New France and officially settles in Beauport (Quebec).
·      French defeat Iroquois – open area for fur trading, heavily invest in colonial empire
·      Suzie’s earliest immigrant “LaBelle” ancestor, Nicholas Lebel arrives in Quebec sometime before 1662, marries, Therese Mignault, granddaughter of Zacharie Cloutier in Quebec in 1665.
·      British capture New York from Dutch 1664, align with Iroquois & begin 100 year conflict with French over fur trading
·      Fr. Jacque Marquette & Louis Jolliet exploration departs on May 17th – discover the Fox / Wisconsin River route to Mississippi – establish Illinois / Chicago / DesPlaines River route back to Lake Michigan
·      French build fort at Michilimackinac (Mackinac Island)
·      After French & Indian War, British assume ownership of Upper Great Lakes Region, introduce sailing vessels
1775 – 83
·      American Revolutionary War – British cedes territory to United States

American Industrialization of Lake Michigan
·      US establishes first naval fleet at Straights of Mackinac

·      Ft. Dearborn established (Chicago); Louisiana Purchase concluded 1803
·      Lewis & Clark’s Core of Discovery 1804 – 1806
·      John Jacob Astor establishes American Fur Co., controls market from Mackinac Island
·      War of 1812 with British, Ft. Howard constructed at mouth of Fox River, now Green Bay, WI
·      First Steamboat introduced to the Great Lakes
·      Erie Canal opened – linking Atlantic Ocean & the Great Lakes – ushers in era of migration and industrial growth
·      Blackhawk War concluded opening water route to the west - surge of migration from New England, New York
·      Suzie’s Brooks ancestors, and Jim’s Stanton ancestors move from NY to WI
·      Military road from Detroit to Chicago opened 1835
·      Small lumbering and fishing operations begun primarily by New England transplants
·      Small mining operations begun in Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin requiring ship transport
·      Hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Europe and Canada supply cheap labor for lumbering, mining & ship building industries
·      Suzie’s ancestor, Pierre Lebel [LaBelle], arrives in Manitowoc Rapids, WI from Gentilly, Quebec by way of Buffalo in 1848 to work at sawmill
·      Sailing & Steamships primary mode of transportation throughout regions
·      Railroads add to transportation options for packaged freight
·      Chicago becomes Lake Michigan’s principle port - linking lake with farm via shipping and railroads
·      Large scale pine lumbering, fishing and mining to meet demand from growing populations centers
·      Suzie’s ancestor, Moses LaBelle purchases tavern in Manitowoc 1854, marries Margaret Belanger 1855
·      Sault St. Marie Canal opened 1855
·      American Civil War 1861 – 1865
·      First Homestead Act 1862 allowing citizens to claim ¼ acre from US government for homesteading
·      Suzie’s ancestor, Moses LaBelle purchases decommissioned lot in Ft. Howard, Green Bay 1866
·      Transcontinental Railroad completed 1869
·      Post Civil War Mining boom, railroad construction, population migration to Mid-West and West
·      The BIG CUT – decimation of the northern pine forests to supply lumber for growing cities
·      October 8, 1871 – Great Fires: Chicago, Peshtigo, Door County, Escanaba, Stonington, Holland, Manistee &
·      Moses LaBelle listed as a [lumber] saw filer in 1870 census, lives through 1871 Peshtigo fire
·      Huge surge in fishing 1872 – 1880 with opening of national market by refrigerated train car
·      Large scale mining & refining operations with transport from UP to Chicago and Detroit
·      Suzie’s great grandfather, Peter LaBelle is born near Ft. Howard, 1874
·      Completion of Sturgeon Bay canal 1882 – allowing easy transport of lumber and iron from northern WI
·      Native Whitefish catch significantly reduced in 1885 – never to rebound
·      Increase in passenger ship tourist traffic – construction of Mackinac Island Grand Hotel 1887

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