DescriptionFounded in the early 1800s on a bluff overlooking the Huron River, Milan overcame its landlocked handicap by building a canal to the river, which flows into Lake Erie. By the early 1840s, with the canal newly completed, Milan was booming as one of the largest wheat-shipping centers in the country.
The prosperity lasted until the town refused right-of-way to the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad. The railroad went through Norwalk instead, and Milan's commerce abruptly declined. To add to the city's problems, deforestation caused the river to diminish and become unnavigable. By the 1870s the canal was abandoned, and Milan entered an era of light industry and farming.
Things to SeeEdison Birthplace Museum