The history is a 123-mile tale in sequence about geology, Native Americans, pioneers, water power, water users, resource degradation and recovery. Considerable effort has been made to explain the relationships of human activity and the River from earliest known inhabitants to the near-present navigators. Flush with photographs and charts, readers may readily understand the narrative together with continuous deference to the value of history in our lives and for the care of the waterway. For those readers outside our watershed, there is an adoptable manner to content and chronology that may be followed in most navigable waterways. The coverage area from the source at Lake Shiawassee to the river's confluence with the Tittabawassee south of Saginaw is compressed with bonds of a the omnipresent Chippewas, early beaver trappers, river towns with their dams, ponds and mills and environmental qualities of the water body.