Living in Jackson

Planes, Trains, Automobiles & Jackson, Michigan

June 26, 2019

A City on the move.

The city of Jackson, as a transportation hub, is a natural location like few other U.S. or Michigan cities. Early trains crossed directly through Jackson. The first automobiles were made here. Airplanes ‘landed’ at Jackson's Reynolds Field as early as 1928. Being situated in the center of Mid-Michigan, Jackson is a direct East/West artery between Detroit and Chicago. It's a North/South artery between Toledo and our State Capital, Lansing. Few will disagree, Jackson is a convenient for business.

Jaxon from the start of the car industry!
Jackson was more than a transportation hub. Our city was a significant contributor to the Industrial Revolution in the early part of the 20th Century. Between 1885 and 1900, when Westward expansion exploded, demand for all types of transportation increased. Railways boomed. Jackson’s buggy and carriage businesses produced thousands of vehicles every year. Our Commercial Exchange building on East Michigan Avenue was part of this progress with the Jackson Automotive Company. Production of wagons, sleighs and buggies established Jackson as a center of transportation manufacturing.

Another distinction is Jackson’s prominent home-grown business talent. Two men worth noting from history: William ‘Cap’ Sparks and Wiley Reynolds, Jr., both enormous visionaries who contributed greatly to the transportation industry. The Sparks-Withington Company created the first electric ‘Sparton’ brand car horn. Mr. Reynold’s business, the Jackson Cushion Spring Company, created the first cushion springs for autos as well as train berths.

On June 2, 1928, Mr. Reynolds hosted a two-day 'Grand Opening' celebration before 10,000 people with 40 biplanes introducing Jackson’s Reynolds Municipal Field to the community. During this event, there were marching bands, infantry and bugle corps. A spectacle! The land for this airport was donated to the city of Jackson by Mr. Reynolds and remains home today to over 100 general aviation aircraft from private planes to corporate jets.

The unique ‘Cascade Falls’ was unveiled to Jackson in a huge celebration on May 9, 1932 by philanthropist, ‘Cap’ Sparks. Over 26,000 people attended. Jackson’s most well-known landmark is rich in our city's history and is and has been appreciated by generations of families.