1814 – 1896
Who was Bela Hubbard?
Bela Hubbard was a 19th-century naturalist, geologist, writer, historian, surveyor, explorer, lawyer, real estate dealer, lumberman and civic leader of early Detroit, Michigan. Hubbard is noted as one of the pioneer geologists of Michigan starting with expeditions undertaken, while in his twenties, with Michigan's geologist Douglass Houghton. These early expeditions explored the salt springs of Michigan's Grand and Saginaw river valleys. Later, Hubbard surveyed many of the regions around Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.
Bela Hubbard, second son of Phebe and Thomas Hill Hubbard was born in Hamilton, N. Y. He graduated at Hamilton College in 1834, and in the spring of 1835 moved to Detroit, Michigan to help manage the family's farm and land agency.
Hubbard was quick-deeded ownership of the two-hundred-and-fifty acre Knaggs farm at Springwells on the river southwest of Detroit. It had been purchased by his father the year before. For several years both Bela and Henry Hubbard, an older sibling who had arrived in Detroit the year previous, stayed in the old Knagg's farmhouse. Bela Hubbard used his farm not solely as a means of production but to apply scientific principles towards the advancement of agriculture.
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