National Geographic : 1944 Dec
As a Result of the Bloodless "Toledo War" with Ohio, Michigan Is Split in Twain by Water In 1835, two years before admission to the Union, Michigan Territory quarreled with Ohio over the borderline "Toledo strip." Both claimants called out militia. Congress gave Ohio the 4 7 0-square-mile strip, but Michigan got a profitable consolation, Wisconsin Territory's 17,000-square-mile ore-rich peninsula. passing more tonnage than the Suez and Pan ama Canals combined (Plate XII). For the past three years, it has been one of the most vital life lines of the war. Eighty-five per cent of the iron ore required by American in dustry must pass through this channel. It is no wonder that Sault Ste. Marie has become one of the most closely guarded spots in the United States. Although Michigan has gone into the air and out to sea, it is primarily interested in things that roll. In 1942 the Army's Ordnance Tank Automotive Center was taken out of Washington and transferred to Detroit, with Brig. Gen. A. R. Glancy, a former General Motors vice president, in charge. The "TA" Center created quite a stir in Detroit. The Army had to have space quickly. The 40-story Union Guardian Building looked good to the Army, and hundreds of startled tenants were told to move out. A Bomber an Hour at Willow Run In addition to serving as an armorer of the United States, Michigan has also turned out enormous quantities of material for our Allies. The Russians have always leaned on De troit; Detroit engineers, architects, and indus trialists figured largely in the first Five-Year Plan. A great deal of work has been done for Britain, notably in filling the famous Rolls Royce engine contract which was turned down by Ford and eventually landed at Packard. A major war enterprise is the fabulous bomber plant built for Henry Ford by the Government at Willow Run. It is no secret that at Willow Run they can turn out a bomber every working hour if military needs require it. I used to visit friends on a farm which once occupied this site. It gave me a queer feel ing to go back. Willow Run just staggers the imagination. There is no other way to put it. Everything about the place is "supercolossal." It is so big that workers must be careful to enter the right gate or they may have to walk for half an hour to reach their spot in the assembly line. The buildings seem to go over the horizon and out of sight. Highways, complete with cloverleaves and grade separa tions, cluster about the gates like skeins of tangled yarn. Willow Run is a bone of contention for the surrounding countryside. Building such a factory in an area where there was neither housing nor transportation was bound to re sult in plenty of headaches (Plate II). Housing in Willow Run, as elsewhere in wartime Michigan, is the principal difficulty. Neighboring communities, especially Ypsi lanti, have been crowded to the point of ex plosion. Housing developments were put in by the Federal Government, including dormitories for single workers. Still there were not enough accommodations to go around (page 700).