Native Americans had long lived in the area of East Lansing, Michigan, when the first white man settled in the area. The Native Americans and the first settlers did a lot of trading of tools for animal pelts. By the time, Lansing, Michigan, became the capitol major trade roads known as the Okemah Road, and the Park Lake Trail ran through the area. East Lansing was established in 1847. Just three short years later, in 1850, the Lansing and Howell Plank Road Company established a toll road that connected Detroit and Lansing. Michigan. The road took three years to complete and two years later, Michigan State University was founded. Those looking for information on M.S.U. should consult the East Lansing, MI yellow pages.East Lansing developed as Michigan State University developed and the first seven mayors of East Lansing were employees of Michigan State University. An early settler, John J. Holmes, was responsible for proposing an agricultural college be built in Michigan. The state already operated a University in Ann Arbor and the Normal School in Ypsilanti. The fear of Holmes and others who supported him was that agriculture would not be studied at these other schools. The state approved Holmes' plan and added that no more than $15 an acre would be paid for the land and that the University must be located within 10 minutes of the state capitol.
Holmes looked at nine different sites before a farm owned by a Mr. Burr was chosen. The next obstacle was that the government could not agree on what facilities were needed. Mr. Holmes suggested that the school needed a combination classroom, office building, and one dormitory. That plan was approved. The first classes started in May 1857, with Holmes serving as the school's treasurer and Superintendent of Horticulture. Those looking for classes to attend today should consult the East Lansing, MI business directory. As the Superintendent of Horticulture he supervised the landscaping of the new campus. The original classroom was a three story building known simply as college hall was the first in the nation dedicated to the teaching of agriculture. The building was known for its very shoddy workmanship and collapsed in 1918. The second building built at the university was simply known as the hall or house until after it burned down in 1876. After it was burned, the building became known as Saint's Rest. The third building built at the college was a 28-by-40 foot horse barn built from 1856 and 1857. The barn was torn down in 1922.
Written by Lyndsey Morgan