About The Commercial Exchange
Everybody Has a Story. This is Ours.
The Seed for Our Saga Began Before 1895Our story began before 1895, before this building became known as The Commercial Exchange, and 10 years before this brick and timber frame structure appeared on Jackson’s main artery, East Michigan Avenue.
It was 1885. Samuel Collins had a vision. His vision required space. Collins had been producing agricultural tools: spades, shovels, and pitchforks at this location when it burned to the ground. Collins recognized a need. It took him 10 years to secure investors, rebuild this structure on the ashes of his old building, and begin production on a visionary new product: horse-drawn wagons and buggies.
A decade later Collins Manufacturing employed 300–400 men producing 20,000 vehicles a year. Yes, all from this building.
You asked, so here is the rest of the story: