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Michigan’s Columbus

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Michigan’s Columbus

The Life of Douglass Houghton

by Steve Lehto

The name “Houghton” is well-known to Michiganians. It graces a city, a county, a lake, waterfalls, schools, and more. But what made Douglass Houghton such a “star?” As the fledgling state’s first geologist, he found more than any explorer before him — from salt springs to gypsum. His reports helped launch a “rush” to the Keweenaw Peninsula’s Copper Country. He also found time to be elected mayor of Detroit and teach at the University of Michigan, all before the age of thirty-six. Here’s his story.

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