When Allegan County was organized in 1835, the only road from the interior to Lake Michigan followed an Indian Trail along the Kalamazoo River. In 1838 Ralph Mann of Connecticut was supervising improvements at the short lived town of Richmond. He and two men widened the trail eight miles from Richmond to Allegan. Beginning in the 1840s stagecoaches traveled the road, used by settlers, traders and trappers. When river conditions prohibited boat travel, the Allegan Road provided an important link between the county seat and the lake.