MICH. HISTORY: Cambridge Junction & the Old US12 Stagecoach Trail
Twenty miles southeast of Jackson - and just a tad east of Michigan International Speedway - lies the township of Cambridge in Lenawee County. This intersection (US-12 & M-50), which is home to Walker Tavern, the historic Hewitt House, and Cambridge Junction Historic State Park, can also be referred to as the "gateway to the Irish Hills".
The highway now known as US-12 was originally the Sauk Trail, used by Native American tribes from the 1700's to the early 1800's. It became a military road, laid out in 1825, and the main route for stagecoaches between Detroit & Chicago.
In 1835 a number of citizens gathered in Butterfield's Inn and chose the name Cambridge for their township.
The first schoolhouse was built in 1835, followed by other enterprises: doctor's office, saw mill, township hall, church, general store and hotel. The Cambridge post office stood just south of the intersection on the west side of the road, and north of the Episcopal church.
In the 1840s, the tavern (built in 1832) owned by Sylvester Walker became a "must visit" stop for travelers along the trail. This historic tavern still stands, and is all part of the State Park, welcoming visitors.
When the Michigan & Ohio railroad came through in 1883, a village was created five miles south of Cambridge Junction, which was named Onsted.
Even though Cambridge Junction is 20 miles south of Jackson, just a SMIDGEN into Lenawee County, it's still a vital part of Jackson's history.
Come visit Walker Tavern, the Hewitt House, the old brick Antique shop and more...this is one of the area's most historic spots!