So it is with the history of the Shiawassee River. The book connects the dots of the richly related river settings and activities in and along its embankments. Now the river’s future is a legacy fulfilling progression, especially in environmental and recreational advancement. Witness the October designation by the United States Department of Interior of the Shiawassee River’s National Water Trail. Native Americans routinely cleared the river and established the trail; Euro-Americans followed suit.

  This book is an ambitious motive for preservation of the significance of places and people interacting with the river from the earliest known inhabitants to the near present.

   The impetus to write the river’s history arose from a 2019 presentation during the Shiawassee Arts Center’s traveling Smithsonian exhibit on water.  A local perspective was offered in talks on river history, recreation and the environment. A preliminary book outline followed about what could be pursued under the rarely employed context of a river’s history.

  With the support of publisher Friends of the Shiawassee River, Phil Hathaway researched, interviewed and photographed places and historic renderings. Even a hand-drawn map explains how the river earned the Chippewa naming, “the river that runs straight.” Tales of lost souls in the wilderness, Native American boys fishing, profound pollution conditions, the in-river ‘toilets’ of the 1930s, the amazing Williams brothers and even the famous DeToqueville connection to the watershed are related throughout the 200 pages of stories and events.

  In time for the holidays, the books may be acquired at the Shiawassee Arts Center in Owosso or by mail from the Friends of the Shiawassee River website,

History of the Shiawassee River Book is Available was last modified: December 22nd, 2020 by Karen Elford