BURNS GRANGE #160 dedicated a replacement sign for the historic Knaggs Bridge area on Sunday afternoon, July 31. The new sign is shown above. The first sign was dedicated on Sept. 13, 1963. In 2013, the sign was taken from the location and later found, damaged beyond repair in the Shiawassee River.

   The original sign had cost $250. The new sign cost was set at $3,240. After the original sign was destroyed, the question was how to replace the new sign – given the expense. In 2020, Burns Grange took on the project and started to raise funds, but was temporarily halted due to the pandemic. An anonymous individual in the area later came forward and helped organize fundraising efforts to bring the project to completion. In May 2022, the new sign arrived and was then dedicated last Sunday.

   The Knaggs Bridge area is historically significant due to oral traditions and the discovery of archaeological evidence demonstrating that indigenous people lived in the area for thousands of years. The story of the area is also linked to both chiefs Okemos and Wasso. Eventually, Henry Bolieu, the first Euro-American settler, built a cabin along the river in 1817. In 1819, the Treaty of Saginaw reserved the land for tribal use and Peter Whitmore Knaggs built a trading post that lasted for several years. Later, a relative, John Knaggs, operated a store/tavern on the same site. That business closed in 1839. The first bridge was built in 1838 and a dam was added in 1856. Some of the remains of the dam can still be seen.

   The new sign is similar to the original.

    Burns Grange #160 is located at 6630 E. Cole Rd., Bancroft. For those wanted to become involved, meetings are the first and third Tuesdays of every month at 5:30 p.m.

(Courtesy Photo)

Knaggs Bridge Area Sign was last modified: August 9th, 2022 by Karen Elford