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Bedford Branch Library (734) 847-6747
Blue Bush Branch Library (734) 242-4085
Carleton Branch Library (734) 654-2180
Dundee Branch Library (734) 529-3310
Erie Branch Library (734) 848-4420
Ida Branch Library (734) 269-2191
L.S. Navarre Branch Library (734) 241-5577
Maybee Branch Library (734) 587-3680
Newport Branch Library (734) 586-2117
Robert A. Vivian Branch Library (734)241-1430
Senior Outreach (734) 241-5770
Bedford Branch Library
8575 Jackman Rd. Temperance, MI 48182 Phone: (734) 847-6747
Fax: (734) 847-6591
Mon - Thu: 10:00 am-7:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
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Blue Bush Branch Library
2210 Blue Bush Road Monroe, MI 48162-9643 Phone: (734) 242-4085
Fax: (734) 242-4085
Mon: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Tue: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Wed: 1:00 pm-6:00 pm
Thu: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
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Carleton Branch Library
1444 Kent Street Carleton, MI 48117-0267 Phone: (734) 654-2180
Fax: (734) 654-8767
Mon: 12:00 pm-6:00 pm
Tue - Wed: 11:00 am-6:00 pm
Thu: 12:00 pm-6:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am-2:00 pm
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Dorsch Memorial Branch Library
18 East First Street Monroe, MI 48161-2227 Phone: (734) 241-7878
Fax: (734) 241-7879
Mon - Tue: 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Wed: 11:00 am-5:00 pm
Thu: 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 11:00 am-4:00 pm
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Dundee Branch Library
144 East Main Street Dundee, MI 48131-1202 Phone: (734) 529-3310
Fax: (734) 529-7415
Mon - Thu: 10:00 am-6:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am-2:00 pm
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Ellis Library & Reference Center
3700 South Custer Rd. Monroe 48161-9716 Phone: (734) 241-5277
Toll Free: (800) 462-2050
Fax: (734) 242-9037
Mon - Thu: 10:00 am-6:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
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Erie Branch Library
2065 Erie Rd. Erie, MI 48133-9757 Phone: (734) 848-4420
Fax: (734) 317-1420
Mon: 1:00 pm-7:00 pm
Tue: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Wed: 10:00 am-5:00 pm
Thu - Fri: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
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Frenchtown-Dixie Branch Library
2881 Nadeau Road Monroe, MI 48162-9355 Phone: (734) 289-1035
Fax: (734) 289-3867
Mon - Tue: 12:00 pm-6:00 pm
Wed: 11:00 am-5:00 pm
Thu: 12:00 pm-6:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
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Ida Branch Library
3016 Lewis Ave. Ida, MI 48140-0056 Phone: (734) 269-2191
Fax: (734) 269-3315
Mon - Tue: 10:00 am-6:00 pm
Wed - Fri: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am-1:00 pm
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L.S. Navarre Branch Library
1135 East Second Street Monroe, MI 48161-1920 Phone: (734) 241-5577
Fax: (734) 241-5577
Mon - Thu: 12:00 pm-5:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 1:00 pm-4:00 pm
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Maybee Branch Library
9060 Raisin St. Maybee, MI 48159-0165 Phone: (734) 587-3680
Fax: (734) 587-3680
Mon: 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Tue: 12:00 pm-5:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am-1:00 pm
Fri: 9:00 am-4:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
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Newport Branch Library
8120 N. Dixie Hwy. Newport, MI 48166-9703 Phone: (734) 586-2117
Fax: (734) 586-1116
Mon - Tue: 12:00 pm-6:00 pm
Wed: 11:00 am-6:00 pm
Thu: 12:00 pm-6:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am-4:00 pm
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Rasey Memorial Branch Library
4349 Oak, Box 416 Luna Pier, MI 48157-4572 Phone: (734) 848-4572
Fax: (734) 317-1572
Mon: 10:00 am-1:00 pm
Tue - Wed: 2:00 pm-7:00 pm
Thu: 10:00 am-1:00 pm
Fri: 1:00 pm-5:00 pm
Sat: 10:00 am-1:00 pm
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Robert A. Vivian Branch Library
2664 Vivian Road Monroe, MI 48162-9212 Phone: (734)241-1430
Fax: (734)241-1430
Mon: 12:00 pm-7:00 pm
Wed: 12:00 pm-7:00 pm
Thu: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
Fri: 11:00 am-5:00 pm
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Senior Outreach
South Rockwood Branch Library
5676 Carleton Rockwood Road S. Rockwood, MI 48179 Phone: (734) 379-3333
Fax: (734) 749-7485
Mon: 11:00 am-5:00 pm
Tue - Thu: 1:00 pm-6:00 pm
Fri: 1:00 pm-4:00 pm
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Summerfield-Petersburg Branch Library
60 East Center St. Petersburg, MI 49270 Phone: (734) 279-1025
Fax: (734) 279-2328
Mon - Thu: 12:00 pm-6:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 10:00 am-1:00 pm
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Monroe’s Famous Marshes Despoiled By Poison-Polluted River Raisin

There is no sadder spectacle than Nature beaten down and defiled by man.  Such a spectacle is presented today by the Monroe marshes.

Once these marshes were a billowing sea of wild rice, of tall grass and cattails, shot with pools and reticulated with narrow channels of sweet blue water from the River Raisin.  Game was plentiful then.  Mallards, teal, and pintail arched over the rice beds in un-reckonable numbers, every arm of sedge was clustered with roots and gallinuies.  Back in their retreats, the sora and Virginia rails deafened the intrusive boatman with their chatter.  Twenty years ago the Monroe marshes were just this sort of paradise and sportsmen throughout the United States sung their praises.

The Marshes Now.

But that was 20 years ago.  We are dealing with the present now.  Today the marshes are but an ugly specter of their former selves.  They are a region of malignant decay, of withered and mere grasses that whisper hollowly in the wind.  The pools and pot-holes are no longer blue, but a slatey gray; the channels are choked by an acrid scum, and the River Raisin is a foul and reeking sewer, transformed into such by the paper mills of Monroe.

And the Game:

Most of it has disappeared. The paper mills dump their acids and refuse into a small creek that meanders down to the Raisin.  Every day the creek discharges thousands of cubic feet of polluted water into the river, debouching at the head of the marshes.  There the river is almost the consistency of glue, is of a chocolate color and churned into an evil smelling froth by the big gas bubbles that arise from the bottom.  

Sometimes these gas bubbles spout several feet above the river’s level, looking for all the world like miniature geysers, so powerful is the chemical action of the acids and refuse.  Sometimes chunks of mud a yard in diameter are spewed to the surface, and sometimes sticks and logs that have been buried for years.  Sometimes, when the discharge from the mills is particularly heavy, the waters sigh and moan as if with torment, and the gaseous base is heavy enough to obscure the shore.  Then the river appears to be boiling—boiling as a witch’s cauldron.  

The “Old River.”

The Raisin divides a short distance below the mouth of the creek.  One branch, a dredged canal, flows out to Lake Erie, while the other, the “old river,” crawls like a great, loathsome worm into the marshes, consuming or befouling everything it touches.  The “old river” is the sportsman’s chief concern.  It is bordered by rice, by patches of wapato and high ridges of cane, but there is no stir of any live anywhere in its domain.  It is a river of silences, unearthly, unreal, a sort of styx surrounded by a dead world of its own making.  A grim and repulsive world of sickly and rotting vegetation, whose missma smarts the eyes and tears at the lungs.  

“I remember this spot particularly well,” said Lawrence Duvall, Monroe Conservation Officer, pointing to a place where the Raisin widened into a tiny bay.  “Twenty years ago you could
catch a dozen bass there in a few minutes of trolling.  You could hide beyond the bend and kill a limit of ducks in half an hour.  But the fish are dead.  The rails and coots come no more, because the acid eats through their feathers and forms cankerous sores.  The ducks refuse to alight in this water.  Nothing lives here now, Nothing can.”  

The Monroe marshes are about 5,000 acres in area.  About 3,500 acres are polluted by the Raisin.  In the southern end of the marshes the waters of Lake Erie palliate the evil and here reside about 8,000 ducks and a few coots and gallinuies.  In the main, however, the marshes are but a memory.  They exist in an outward form, but their pulse of life has departed.  They can never be resurrected so long as the creek pours its scorching acids into the river.  And no relief is in sight say the mill owners.  

“It’s too bad, but nothing can be done about it,” they say.   
 

Publication Date: 
Sunday, September 19, 1926
Bygone Categories: 
River
Bygone Tags: 
River Raisin
Paper Mills
Lake Erie
Marshes
Bygone Source: 
Detroit News Sunday

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