Alexander Macomb- In 1818, Territorial Governor Lewis Cass proclaimed the third Michigan county to be called Macomb. At that time, the young General was Commander of the Fifth Military Department in Detroit. Born in that city in 1782, son of prominent local entrepreneurs, Macomb had entered the U.S. Army in 1799. He had gained national renown and honor during the War of 1812 for his victory at Plattsburg in September 1814 over a far superior force of British invaders. Later as Chief Army Engineer, he promoted the building of military roads in the Great Lakes area. From May 1828 to his death in June 1841, Macomb served as Commander in Chief of the Army. He is buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington D.C. His birthday, April 3, is honored as Macomb County Heritage Day.
Located at the corner of Gratiot and Macomb in Mt. Clemens.
Baumgartner House- A native of Bavaria, John Baumgartner purchased this property in Erin Township in 1856, becoming one of Fraser's first landowners. Around 1866 he and his wife, Samantha, moved here with the first three of their seven children. In 1875 they erected this house in the Rundbogenstil (round arch mode), a German architectural style popularized in the United States from the 1840s through the 1860s. The round windows, square plan and perfect symmetry reflect the style. The farm included outbuildings and orchards.
Located at 18577 Masonic in Fraser.
Blossom Heath Inn- Matthew Kramer, a hotelier and yachtsman, built this roadhouse in 1911, naming it the Kramerhof. In 1920, the building was sold to William McIntosh, who renamed it the Blossom Heath Inn and added two large wings, which included an ornate ballroom. Blossom Heath was one of the most luxurious roadhouses in Michigan. Nationally known big bands, such as Ben Pollack's drew people from Detroit and Canada. Blossom Heath became notorious for illegal drinking and gambling during Prohibition and the Depression. After McIntosh's death in 1930, the roadhouse was run by his heirs. By the late 1930's, the heyday of roadhouses was over, and in 1943, Blossom Heath was sold. The building fell into disuse, but in 1946, the village of St. Clair Shores purchased it. On May 19, 1946, it reopened as a civic center with village offices in the north wing. It became the St. Clair Shores Recreation Center in 1957.
Located at 24800 Jefferson Ave in St. Clair Shores.
Carnegie Library- Mount Clemens Carnegie building was erected in 1904 and was the first Carnegie Library built in Macomb County. It is one of 1,681 such libraries across the United States financed by Andrew Carnegie, the industrialist and philanthropist. The columns, stairs, and large windows of this Neo-Classical design make the structure one of the distinguished public edifices in this vicinity. This site is part of the original land granted in 1811, private claim number 141, to Christian Clemens, founder of Mount Clemens. Initially used as a public library, this facility has an outstanding local history and genealogy collection. In 1969, the Carnegie Building became the Art Center, a community based non-profit organization, which fosters visual arts through exhibits, classes and tours in the area.
Located at 125 Macomb St. in Mount Clemens.
Clinton Grove Cemetery- Established in 1855, the Clinton Grove Cemetery exhibits an exquisite array of funerary art in a wooded landscape. This combination of nature and monuments reflects the rural cemetery movement of the nineteenth century, which popularized park-like pastoral planned landscapes in both rural and urban settings. The grounds include a caretaker’s house, built around 1885, and a Tudor office and chapel building, designed by Mount Clemens architect Theophilus Van Damme, which dates from 1914. Many business and political leaders are interred here as well as veterans of American military conflicts from the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam War. Six thousand burials date from the nineteenth century. Clinton Grove Cemetery is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Located at 21189 Cass Avenue in Clinton Township.
Crocker House-The first mayor of Mount Clemens, Josua Dickinson, built this Italianate house in 1869. His daughter Katherine (1849-1882), the great-granddaughter of city founder Christian Clemens, and his son-in-law, George M. Crocker (1848-1918), moved into it after their marriage in 1870. Crocker, a former prosecuting attorney and justice of the peace became mayor upon Dickinson's death. The Crocker family owned the house until 1921. Originally located at the corner of Walnut and Market streets, the house was moved to New Street in 1908 to make room for a new post office. Slated for removal or demolition in 1975, it was rescued by the Macomb County Historical Society, which moved it to Union Street in 1976 for use as a local history museum.
Located at 15 Union Street in Mt. Clemens.
Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant
In 1940, the U.S. Army and the Chrysler Corporation hired Detroit architect Albert Kahn to design a self-contained tank plant. Kahn specialized in factories. In 1941, he designed 20 million square feet of defense plants. The first tank rolled off the assembly line at the sprawling Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant on April 24, 1941, amid cheering spectators. The December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor thrust the U.S. into the Second World War and tank workers into round-the-clock production. President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor inspected the plant in September 1942. Two months later workers set the monthly record for all U.S. plants by producing 896 tanks. Tank production ended here in 1997.
Just two decades after the end of World War I, Europe was again at war. Construction of the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant began in 1940, before the U.S. became directly involved in the conflict. The 1941 Lend-Lease Act committed the U.S. to supplying arms to its allies. During World War II, the U.S. government contracted with automakers to make tanks, trucks and planes. William Knudson, president of the General Motors Corporation, led the government's defense production effort. Capitalizing on the auto industry's mass production capabilities, he called on Chrysler Corporation president K.T. Keller to build tanks. By the war's end, the arsenal built 22,234 tanks, over one quarter of the tanks produced in the U.S.
Located at Van Dyke at Tank Road (10 ½ Mile) in Warren.
Detroit Memorial Park Cemetery
Detroit Memorial Park Cemetery was organized in 1925 to serve the rapidly expanding post-war Detroit black population. Concerned with the indignities and poor quality of service received by the black community, several distinguished Detroiters established the cemetery to provide reasonably priced and dignified burials. This was the first black-owned and operated business of its kind in the state. Its incorporators included Charles Diggs, a mortician and acknowledged founder, and Dr. Aaron Toodle, a druggist and first president. By careful management, the cemetery corporation survived the Great Depression and expanded into financial services. Famous inventor, Elijah McCoy, is buried here among doctors, lawyers, ministers, teachers, and business, civic and political leaders.
Located at 4280 E. 13 Mile Road in Warren.
Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
Edsel Ford, president of the Ford Motor Company for many years, and his wife, Eleanor Clay, completed this 87-acre estate in 1927. Architect Albert Kahn derived the design precedents in Cotswold, England, and many of the materials, including the staircase, paneling, and the fireplaces, were brought from old English homes. Noted landscape architect Jens Jensen developed the grounds. The Fords were collectors of art and antiques, and benefactors of local and national institutions. Edsel was instrumental in the creation of the Ford Foundation in 1936. He died here on May 26, 1943. His wife, who lived here until her death on October 19, 1976, endowed the property and directed it be maintained for public use.
Located at 1100 Lake Shore Drive, near Vernier, in Grosse Pte. Shores.
Erin United Presbyterian Church
Under the leadership of the Reverend Harry N. Bissell of Mount Clemens, several families organized the First Presbyterian Church of Erin in 1860. The original thirteen members held their first services in a small schoolhouse. They were the first congregation in this community to conduct services in English. In early 1861, Thomas Common donated the present site to the church. The first church on this site, which cost less than $500 was completed in October 1861. The congregation built a new church here in 1930 and added a more modern sanctuary onto it in 1967. Dedicatory services for the expanded church were held on September 17, 1967. The church's name was changed to the First Presbyterian Church of Roseville in 1929 and to the Erin United Presbyterian Church in 1953.
Located at 30000 Gratiot Avenue in Roseville.
Erin - Warren Fractional District No. 2 School
This school served children in Erin and Warren Townships from 1872 to 1921. Beginning in 1838, German farmer Christian Gerlach held classes in his home. During the 1840s, a log building served as a classroom. In 1850, a red frame school was built. In 1872, the red school was replaced with this structure. Popularly known as Halfway School, it was located in the village of Halfway, midway between Mount Clemens and Detroit. When the school closed in 1921, it was moved to the southeast corner of Nine Mile Road and Gratiot Avenue and used as a warehouse. The East Detroit Historical Society acquired the school in 1984, returning it to within one hundred feet of its original site and restoring its nineteenth century appearance.
Located at 15500 Nine Mile Road in Eastpointe.
First Methodist Episcopal Church
In 1844, the Reverend Jonathon Davis founded the Methodist Episcopal Church to serve the community of Davis, known then as Brooklyn. In 1846, the congregation built the town's first church. The present one, which dates from 1895, is a unique Victorian era church due to its spindles, shingles and sunbursts, more typically found on residences of the period. In 1968 the church was renamed Davis United Methodist Church.
Located at 59024 Romeo Plank Road in Davis (Ray Township).
General Motors Technical Center- An American icon of modern architecture, the General Motors (GM) Technical Center stands as a model corporate research and development park. Thirty-one buildings were constructed between 1949 and 1985. Conceived by Board of Directors Chairman Alfred P. Sloan, the center centralized GM's research, design and engineering efforts. Vice President for Styling Harley Earl chose Eliel and Eero Saarinen to design the campus. Eero Saarinen's International Style buildings complemented by the grounds he planned with landscape architect Thomas Church. Saarinen also worked with GM's Argonaut Division, which designed many of the structures. The center is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Located on Mound Road between 11 and 12 Mile Roads in Warren.
Governor Alex J. Groesbeck-Son of a pioneer Dutch-French family, Groesbeck was born in Warren Township near the corner of Mound and Twelve Mile Roads in 1872. His father's election as sheriff in 1880 caused the family to move to Mount Clemens. In 1893, Alex graduated from the University of Michigan and began a long and distinguished legal career in Detroit. After serving as state attorney general from 1917 to 1920, he became governor for the first of three successive terms in 1921. His Republican administrations were noted for governmental reorganization, prison reform, and expansion of state highways. Highway M-97 was, subsequently, named after him. In 1927, he returned to Detroit, retaining active interest in public affairs until his death in 1953.
(For more on Alex Groesbeck, see the Local History Spotlight article.)
Located on the grounds of the GM Tech Center on Mound Road between 11 and 12 Mile Roads in Warren.
Grace Episcopal Church (Mt. Clemens)- The Episcopal Diocese of Michigan sent Edward Magee to Mount Clemens in 1849. The interest generated by this missionary visit culminated a year later when the Grace Episcopal congregation was formed. In December of that year Michigan's first Episcopal Bishop, the Right Reverend Samuel McCoskry, conducted services in the courthouse. Six members were confirmed and Magee was ordained. In 1870 this simple Gothic Revival church was built.
Located at 115 S. Gratiot in Mt. Clemens.
Grand Pacific House- Frederick Losh opened the Grand Pacific House in 1881, during New Baltimore's golden era. The Italianate hotel and saloon was built of bricks made locally at Streits's brickyard. Losh quickly profited from the city's popularity as a summer resort. Following Losh's death in 1890, his widow Emma ran the hotel until 1909, when she sold it to her brother Amos Springborn, who converted it into a boardinghouse. In 1986 a descendant sold the building to the New Baltimore Historical Society.
Located at 51065 Washington Street in New Baltimore.
Holcombe Beach-Near this site in 1961 archeologists from the Aboriginal Research Club and the University of Michigan uncovered evidence of an early Paleo-Indian settlement. Here about 11,000 years ago these first prehistoric dwellers in the Great Lakes region inhabited a lake shore. Excavations of artifacts and bones reveal that for food the Paleo-Indian hunted Barren Ground caribou, a species suited to the tundra-like terrain of that era. As their environment changed, these Indians were forced to adapt to new ways of living, Different climate and sources of food required modified tools and methods of subsistence, and the Paleo-Indian pattern of life developed into the culture of the Early Archaic people. The site known as Holcombe Beach is a reminder of basic changes in Michigan's physical and biological environment over the ages.
Located on Dodge Park, north of Metro Parkway in Sterling Heights.
Immanuel Methodist Episcopal Church-German immigrants began organizing Methodist churches in Michigan in 1846. In 1849 a small group founded the Immanuel Methodist Church in Roseville to serve Detroit's northeast side. In 1933, when the Roseville church was razed to widen Gratiot Avenue, the congregation relocated here. This Neo-Gothic sandstone church, the congregation's third was designed by Merritt and Cole of Detroit and was dedicated on November 5, 1933.
Located at 23715 Gratiot in Eastpointe.
The John Theisen House-THE JOHN THEISEN
HOUSE Built C. 1857.
Located at 12240 East Ten Mile in Warren
Kolping Chapel-Father Joseph Wuest established the Detroit chapter of the Catholic Kolping Society in 1926. Wuest inscribed "Honor by means of untiring work," on a plaque for this chapel, which he built in 1932. Constructed of stones and shells sent from Kolping societies, churches and missions worldwide, the Neo-Gothic chapel is reminiscent of European wayside shrines. Father Adolph Kolping founded the society in 1846 to benefit German tradesmen and their families.
Located in Kolping Park, Sugarbush Road, south of Cotton in Chesterfield Township.
Lake St. Clair (Lac Sainte Claire)- French explorers discovered and named Lake Saint Clair on August 12, 1679. Among the party of 34 men were voyageur Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle and Roman Catholic friar Father Louis Hennepin. Aboard the Griffin, the first sailing vessel on the Upper Great Lakes, the group sailed from the Niagara Falls area on August 7, 1679, and entered the Detroit River on August 11. They reached Lake Saint Clair the following day and named it Lac Sainte Clair in honor of Sainte Claire of Assisi whose feast day fell at that time. It was Sainte Claire who established the order of Franciscan nuns, the Order of the Poor Claires. Government officials and map makers later changed the spelling to the present form of Saint Clair. This led to some confusion as to the true origin of the name of the lake.
Location (of plaque)-Jefferson at 11 Mile Road in St. Clair Shores.
Loren Andrus House-Loren Andrus (1816 ~ 1901) came to Macomb County from New York State in 1828. He served as an assistant engineer on the survey of the Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal, but gained prominence in agricultural work. In particular, he focused on the breeding of fine wool sheep, and he helped organize both the Macomb County and Michigan Agricultural Societies. Loren and his wife Lucina hired his brother-in-law David G. Stewart, a Macomb County builder and architect, to construct this house. Stewart built an Octagon, popularized by phrenologist Orson Fowler, who touted the Octagon as a spacious building form that offered healthier air circulation and an abundance of
light. Andrus himself made the bricks with local clay. The house has an elaborate central spiral stairway that leads to the cupola.
Loren Andrus built Michigan's most elaborate remaining example of the Octagon house form in 1860. In 1945 Detroit businessman Albert Schmidt donated money to the Detroit Board of Education for the purchase of a farm which gave "city boys" practical experience in their agriculture studies at Wayne (State) University. By 1952, the 330-acre self-supporting farm had 90 Holstein cattle and 1,200 hens. Eggs were sold in green and gold cartons (Wayne's colors) with the slogan "Educated Eggs from the Wayne State University Farm." Despite the efforts of subsequent owners, the house eventually deteriorated and was ravaged by vandals and wildlife. In 1986, a non-profit organized to save the house. The Friends of the Octagon continued to restore and maintain the property into the twenty-first century.
Located at 57500 Van Dyke Avenue in Washington Township.
Methodist Episcopal Church-When this Collegiate Gothic Church, designed by Cleveland architect Herman W. Maurer, was dedicated during the week of January 3, 1926, the Mount Clemens Daily Leader called it a "Monument to Unity of Action." Over a century earlier, in 1820, the Reverend John Kent had held the area's first Methodist Episcopal services. He formally organized the congregation in 1836. The first church was erected in 1841 on land donated by Christian Clemens, who helped plat Mount Clemens in 1818. In 1849, under the inspiring leadership of the Reverend Seth Reed, the Methodists acquired a larger structure, formerly used by Congregationalists and Presbyterians. A third church, remembered as "The Green Church," was built in 1882 and served until the present one was erected.
Located at Cass Avenue in Mt. Clemens.
Milk River Settlement-The strip of land at the mouth of the Milk River was named Point a Guignolet for a grape-link berry that the French fermented into brandy. It later became known as Gaukler Point. The 1702 map of Lac Sainte Claire, attributed to Detroit founder Antoine de la Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac, shows an Ottawa village near the Milk River. This is the earliest documented settlement at the point. As early as 1796 some thirty French families lived in the same vicinity. Well into the nineteenth century, the Milk River settlement was called L'Anse Creuse (Deep Bay). At one time part of Erin Township and later Lake Township, the community was incorporated as the village of St. Clair Shores in 1925 and became a city in 1951.
Located at the west side of Jefferson Avenue at the Milk River Bridge in St. Clair Shores.
Moravian Road-In 1782 marauding American militia massacred nearly one hundred Christian Delaware Indians at their village in eastern Ohio. Seeking refuge, the Delaware settled on the Clinton River two and one-half miles north of here, on land granted by the Chippewa. In time the settlement numbered over one hundred, ministered by the Moravian missionaries. This highway, the first interior road in Michigan, was laid out in the winter of 1785-86 to connect the village with the fort at Detroit, twenty-three miles away. At the close of the American Revolution the Chippewa withdrew their land grant, and in April 1786, the mission was closed. Some of the members returned to Ohio and others moved to Canada.
Located at the northeast corner of Moravian Road and Metro Parkway in Clinton Township.
Mt. Clemens Mineral Bath Industry-For seven decades, Mount Clemens was internationally renowned as a mineral bath resort city. In 1865 the first well was sunk to obtain brine for salt production. Because of the high cost of separating the salt from the various other minerals and elements in the water, this process proved unprofitable. In the fall of 1870, however, a local mill operator, Dorr Kellogg, decided to bath in the warm sulfurous water. Impressed with its therapeutic qualities, city businessmen were inspired to invest in a bathhouse. Known as the Original Bath House, it was completed in 1873. At the turn of the century, nine bathhouses and over thirty hotels operated in Mount Clemens. Owing to the Great Depression and increasing use of internal medicine, this "spa era" ended by 1940.
Located on Cass Avenue between Gratiot and N. Walnut in downtown Mt. Clemens.
New Baltimore and St. John’s Lutheran Church-One side of plaque is about the beginnings of the City of New Baltimore and reads as follows: French explorers led by Pierre Yax first settled in the area now known as New Baltimore in 1796. Chippewa Indians inhabited this vicinity then. Fabian Robertjean made the first government land purchase in 1820. Twenty-five years later, Alfred Ashley of Mount Clemens came here and built the first sawmill and dock, and in 1851, platted the village of Ashley. He also managed a hotel and general store, opened the first post office in his store in 1852. German pioneers arrived here in 1853 clearing land along the Salt River for their settlement. Renamed New Baltimore in 1855, this area was incorporated as a village in 1867 and as a city in 1931. New Baltimore is a popular place for fisherman and hunters and is noted for its expansive shoreline dotted with summer cottages and homes.
The other side of the plaque is about St. John’s Lutheran Church, where the plaque is located, and reads as follows: In 1863, during the stormy days of the Civil War, Lutheranism had its beginning in the New Baltimore area. Seven German families made up the original congregation of St. John's Lutheran Church, holding worship services in the home of Fritz Turkow. Five years later the worshipers moved to an old chapel which was rented from the Baptists. In 1870 the Lutherans erected this structure on property given by Gilbert Hatheway in January of 1869. Services and religious instruction were offered in German until 1916 when English was introduced with one English service a month. German services were discontinued in 1934. St. John's houses a Hinners mechanical action organ, which was acquired in 1905.
Located at 51161 Maria Street in New Baltimore.
Packard Proving Grounds-The Packard Motor Car Company began building a proving ground on this site in 1926. Packard, like its competitors, had previously tested cars on city streets. Architect Albert Kahn designed the principal buildings. By 1929 the complex included the Gate Lodge, warehouses, laboratories, a high-speed test track, and twelve miles of roads simulating the worst conditions of the day. During World War II (1941 ~ 1945) Packard built aircraft and marine engines while leasing the grounds to Chrysler for tank testing. Packard ceased production in 1958, and the Ford Motor Company purchased the site in 1961. In 2000 Ford and the Packard Motor Car Foundation began working to preserve the design complex portion of the site.
In 1899 brothers James Ward and William Doud Packard founded the Ohio Automobile Company in Warren, Ohio. In 1902 Detroiter Henry Joy and several other local investors purchased the company, moved it to Detroit and renamed it the Packard Motor Car Company. During the 1920s and 1930s, Packard set the standard for luxury and design. Under the direction of chief engineer Jesse G. Vincent, Packard, known as America’s Master Motor Builder, also made advances in aviation technology. Vincent contributed to the development of the Liberty aircraft engine during World War I and predicted the growth of commercial aviation. He considered a proving ground to be essential to high quality.
Located at 49965 Van Dyke Avenue in Shelby Township.
Ray Township District School #1 (Ray Township Library)- In 1863 Ray area farmers built what became known popularly as Mill School. Kindergarten through eighth grade students attended here until 1953. That year the school district consolidated with Romeo School District and it transferred the property to the township. Elections and community meetings were held in the building for many years. In 1983 the simple Greek Revival-style School became the Ray Township Library.
Located at 64255 Wolcott Road in Ray Township.
Religious Society Church-The First Religious Society of Ray organized in 1869 and built this church on land donated by Arad Freeman, a member of Ray's founding families. Known for a time as the Ray Union Church, it originally had a steeple and was similar in design to the Mill School. The church became the township hall when the society disbanded in 1950. Although Congregational in character the society had encouraged all Christian denominations to worship together.
Located at 64255 Wolcott Road in Ray Township.
Richmond Society for the Performing Arts-Built in 1887, this structure formerly served as the First Congregational Church. When the congregation merged with St. Paul's Evangelical and Reformed Church in 1973, it sold the building to the Richmond Community Theatre. That group adapted the interior for reuse as a theater and carefully restored the exterior. The building is a significant example of Gothic Revival architecture. The Richmond Center for the Performing Arts was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
Located at 69619 Parker in Richmond.
Sacred Heart Church-On June 1, 1861, the Reverend Amandus Van Den Driessche, from the Detroit Diocese, helped establish a Catholic mission at Utica Junction (now Roseville). The Sacred Heart mission, composed of Irish, German, Belgian and French families, completed its first permanent church, a moderate log structure with seating for 300, in 1864. The mission became a parish in 1872. The next year, the parish purchased land for a cemetery. In 1915 expansion of the Detroit to Port Huron interurban railway necessitated moving the church building to the east. The basement of the current church was constructed in 1930, but the Great Depression and World War II delayed construction of the upper church until 1950.
Located on Gratiot Avenue near Utica Road in Roseville.
Saint Joseph Sanitarium and Bath House-Opened in 1899, the Saint Joseph Sanitarium and Bath House is the only building remaining from the Mt. Clemens bath era. Beginning in 1870 people suffering from rheumatism, blood poisoning, diabetes and skin diseases, among other ailments, sought the curative powers of the baths. The City was hailed as "The Great Health and Pleasure Resort of Michigan." By 1911 the city boasted seventy-eight hotels and eleven bathhouses. Elegant and modern, Saint Joseph Sanitarium sported parlors, a library, steam heat, electric lighting, and a hydraulic elevator. It offered mineral baths until 1952. Side Two-In 1900 the Sisters of Charity of Mount Saint Joseph established a fifty-bed hospital in the Saint Joseph Sanitarium and Bath House, which they operated. That same year, the director, Sister Immaculata D'Arcambal, founded one of the first state-licensed nurse training programs here. Saint Joseph's eventually became the major hospital between Detroit and Port Huron. The present structure comprises the original Colonial Revival building, designed by local architect Theophilus Van Damme, and several additions. In 1990 Saint Joseph's was transferred to the Sisters of Mercy. Located at 215 North Avenue, Mt. Clemens.
Saint Mary’s School In 1870 Father Camillius Maes of Saint Peter Parish erected Saint Mary’s School on this lot, adjacent to the church. When the grammar school opened in that year, it was the first Catholic school in the city and in Macomb County. Three nuns from the Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent in Monroe were chosen to teach the students, eighty in the first year. The school was a two-room, two-story wooden structure. The boys were taught in one room and the girls in the other. All received instruction in basic elementary education subjects and church doctrine. By 1882 Saint Mary’s annual enrollment numbered about 170 students. The first class-all girls-was graduated in 1895. The boys had their first graduation in 1909. The sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary taught at the school until 1896, when lay teachers took over instruction. Side Two. When the original portion of the present Saint Mary’s school opened in 1889, the Mount Clemens Monitor called it “one of the most substantial and best finished buildings in Mount Clemens.” Built in the Second Empire style, it was a square, towered, three-story building with classrooms and offices on the first two floors and an auditorium on the third floor. The third story burned in 1957, when a fire at Saint Peter’s Church caused the steeple to topple onto the school roof. Fortunately only the third-floor auditorium was lost. The school’s four distinct stages of construction typify the evolution of schools as they grew to serve an ever-increasing population. In 1903 an addition was erected on the back of the original building. A high school wing was built in 1911, and an addition to it constructed in 1921. Located at 96 New Street, between Pine Street and South Gratiot Avenue in Mt. Clemens.
Sanford Stone came to Richmond in 1843. In 1875 he platted “Sanford M. Stone’s Addition to the village of Richmond,” which included Jefferson and Washington Streets between Ferguson and Beebe. Stone held many public offices, including state representative, village president, and county coroner. On this site in 1878, he built an Eastlake-style house, which sported ornate chimneys and decorative trim in the gables, making it one of Richmond’s most elaborate buildings. Side Two-Mabelle Streibig Weller purchased the former Sanford Stone House in 1920. Built in 1878 in the Victorian-era Eastlake style, the house was reconstructed for Weller and her husband, Harold, to reflect the more “modern” Colonial Revival style. The Wellers named the house Roseburn Place for Mabelle’s late mother, Rose Burns. In 1993 Weller descendants sold the house to a Richmond businessman. Restored during the 1990s, the house remains a Richmond landmark. Located at 36035 Washington St. in Richmond.
Shelby Fractional District No. 1 Schoolhouse Shelby Fractional District No. 1 Schoolhouse Built in 1871. Located at the Shelby Township Offices off the east side of Van Dyke south of 24 Mile Road on Jack Millard Boulevard in Utica.
Selfridge Field-Selfridge, Michigan's first real airport, began operations as a training base in July 1917. It has progressed to a leading role in America's air arm. It is often called "The House of Generals" because Selfridge has been a springboard to success in the careers of 145 air force generals. It is named for Lieutenant Thomas E. Selfridge, the nation's first military pilot. In 1908 he was killed while flying with Orville Wright, becoming America's first military casualty of powered flight. Located near Selfridge Air Museum, near roadside of M-59 (Harrison Township), on Selfridge Air Base.
Selinsky-Green House-In 1868 when this area was covered with small farms, Prussian immigrants John and Mary Selinsky bought farmland in Erin Township and built this saltbox house using solid log construction covered with clapboard. The Selinskys gave the house to their daughter Ernestine when she married John Green in 1874. The property was owned by their descendants until 1974. Moved to this location in 1975 because of the construction of I-696, this house is now restored as a museum. Located at 22504 Eleven Mile Road, just east of Jefferson Avenue, in St. Clair Shores.
Shoreline Interurban Railway-The Detroit, Lake Shore, and Mt. Clemens Railway, also known as the Shore Line, began interurban rail service on September 28, 1898. The twenty-six-mile route from Detroit followed Jefferson Avenue through Grosse Pointe and St. Clair Shores to Crocker Boulevard and on into Mount Clemens. The interurban was a major factor in the growth of Detroit's suburbs in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It made the city easily accessible to those who lived along the line and brought Detroiters to the St. Clair Shores area for summer outings. Rail service between St. Clair Shores and Mount Clemens ended in 1927. Interurban railroads were eventually eliminated as automobiles and buses grew in popularity. Located at 24800 Jefferson Avenue, between Blossom Heath Boulevard and Revere Street in St. Clair Shores.
Simpson Park Campground-In the early nineteenth century Methodists began holding camp meetings, an outgrowth of their early revivals. Revival services were held during the winter months and late summer was generally reserved for the district camp meeting. Simpson Park Campground was begun as the Romeo District Summer Camp for the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1865. It is one of the oldest camp meetings in continuous service in Michigan. The Reverend John Russell, district presiding elder, was its founder. (In 1869 he also helped found the Prohibition Party.) During the late 1860s families came from over fifty miles away to gather under the foliage for three weeks of almost uninterrupted religious exercises. Side Two-Since the late 1890s Simpson Park Campground has been operated by a private association made up predominately of United Methodists. In 1907 it was reorganized and the Reverend William G. Nixon was elected its first president. A tabernacle was built and named in his honor in 1910. Many of the children and young people who have attended camp meetings have become preachers and missionaries, as well as camp leaders. Today only ten-day camps are held. The meetings are less rigid than in the 1860s, and social and recreational activities are included. The annual Simpson Park Camp Meeting is held during the first two weeks of August. The original camp of thirteen acres has grown to forty-four acres. Located at 70199 Campground Road, Romeo vicinity, Washington Township.
St. Clement Catholic Parish-Priests from Detroit served the Catholics of Kunrod's Corner, present-day Center Line, from 1852 to 1857. In 1854, Saint Clement Catholic Parish was founded, and a church was erected on land sold to the Diocese of Detroit by Hermann and Magthalina Cramer and Anthony Joseph Clemens. Belgian, French, German and Irish Catholics worshipped in the wooden church built on this site. The Reverend Henry H. Meuffels became the first resident pastor in 1857. In 1880-81, a spacious brick church was constructed to serve a growing parish. In 1892, the Sisters of Saint Dominic from Wisconsin reorganized the Saint Clement Elementary School and opened the high school in 1923. The present Church was built in 1960-61. Saint Clement is Center Line's oldest religious institution.
Located at 25320 Van Dyke in Centerline.
St. Lawrence Parish of Utica-In May 1866 the Reverend Amandus Vandendriessche of Detroit recited Utica's first Catholic mass. Forty Irish families at Utica Junction (present-day Roseville) formed what became a mission of Sacred Heart Parish. On August 15, 1874, Bishop C.H. Borgess dedicated St. Lawrence Parish's first church. Four years later a cemetery was consecrated one-half mile north of here. In 1904 a fire swept through Utica, destroying the church. Parishioners worshiped in homes and a rented hall until a new church was built in 1908. The present Neo-Romanesque church was designed by Detroit architect Arthur DesRosiers and erected in 1951. The broad nave seats eight hundred people. St. Lawrence Parish remains the oldest religious community in Utica. Located at 44663 Utica Road, Utica.
St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church-Erin Township's German immigrants first worshipped together in a log church amid an oak forest in 1846. The following year the Reverend John Friedrich Winkler helped organize St. Peter's church as a "country church" near Detroit. This is the third building occupied by the congregation. Dedicated in 1950, the church and school were designed by Merritt and Cole and are fine mid-twentieth century interpretations of the Neo-Gothic style. The church bells were brought from the congregation's second church, which stood two blocks south of here from 1859 to 1950. The adjacent cemetery was dedicated in 1888.
Located at 23000 Gratiot Avenue, north of 9 Mile, in Eastpointe.
The Thing-Thomas Clegg (1863-1939) and his English-born father, John, built "The Thing," the first recorded self-propelled vehicle in Michigan (and perhaps the country) in 1884-85. The Thing, driven by a single cylinder steam engine with a tubular boiler carried in the rear, seated four. The vehicle was built in the John Clegg & Son machine shop here in Memphis. It ran about 500 miles before Clegg dismantled it and sold the engine to a creamery. The shop was razed in 1936, just a short time before Henry Ford offered to buy it for Greenfield Village.
Located on Bordman Road, east of the village limits of Memphis.
Thomas Edison-While working as a railway newsboy on the Detroit - Port Huron line, Tom Edison often stopped in Mount Clemens. He made friends with station agent J. U. MacKenzie and in 1862 saved MacKenzie's young son from death by a train. In gratitude Mr. MacKenzie taught Tom Edison railroad telegraphy. From his training Tom became a qualified railroad telegrapher and worked during the 1860s at this occupation. Some of his earliest inventions were based on the telegraph.
Located at 198 Grand Avenue at Cass in Mt. Clemens.
Upton House-Constructed in 1866-67, the William Upton House is one of the oldest surviving nineteenth century brick dwellings in Sterling Heights. Italianate in style, the house features a reconstructed open porch topped by a second story balustrade, a cupola, period chimneys and refurbished window units. According to oral tradition, the interior building materials were imported from England. Most farmsteads of this era were constructed of wood; the brick used on this one demonstrates the affluence of its builder. By 1891 the Upton farm consisted of 138 acres. Upton farmed this land and sold fish from the Clinton River. When the exterior restoration of the house was done in 1981-82, the interior was adapted for use as public offices.
Located at 40433 Utica Road in Sterling Heights.
Utica Cemetery-John and Mary Stead deeded 4.45 acres of Land to the Utica Cemetery Association in 1863. Included in that parcel was a section referred to as the "Old Burying Ground" and a family plot called "Stead's Reserve." The first burial occurred in 1817 upon the death of Thomas Squier, who was among Shelby Township's first white settlers. Businessmen, doctors, farmers, and teachers who influenced the history of the area are buried here, including Lyman T. Jenney, the county's first doctor and antislavery activists Peter and Sarah Lerich. Also interred here are Joseph Stead, who platted the village of Harlow in 1829, and Gurden C. Leech, who in 1833 suggested that the town be renamed Utica.
Located at 46325 Shelby Road in Utica.
Utica Nike Base/Spring Hill Farm-(Marker dialogue not available, the following information is from the Utica Sentinel and the Shelby Twp. Historical Committee.)
Peter Lerich came to Shelby Township on May 19, 1835 at the age of 22 with his wife Sarah and his mother. They named their farm Spring Hill because of a natural spring that flowed from the side of a hill on their property where Peter dug a spring house to serve as the family refrigerator.
Both Peter and Sarah Lerich were active in the anti-slavery movement, as they helped many slaves escape to freedom along the Underground Railroad. The springhouse was enlarged to form a hidden cave that was used to conceal the fugitive slaves.
In 1939, heavyweight champion Joe Louis purchased Spring Hill Farm for a training camp. Under Louis’s ownership, the farm hosted many equestrian events, such as his annual horse show, and became a prominent area nightclub. However, due to his financial problems, Louis sold Spring Hill to the State of Michigan in 1944.
In 1954, the property was leased to the United States Army, which established and maintained a NIKE missile base on the site until 1964 when it was then turned over to the Michigan National Guard.
In 1972, the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority took control of 277 acres of the property adjoining the Rochester-Utica State Recreation Area. Around this same time, the Utica Community Schools also obtained a portion of the property for the Shadbush Environmental Center.
In the early 1980’s, much of the original Spring Hill Farm property became Shelby Township’s River Bends Park.
Located at River Bends Park, near Ryan and Hamlin, in Shelby Township.
Village of Romeo-Originally known as Indian Village, Romeo was platted in 1830 on the former winter campgrounds of a band of Chippewa Indians. Nathaniel Taylor, Ashael Bailey, and a Major Larned laid out the village, which was incorporated in 1838. Named Romeo by Taylor's wife, Laura, the village became an agricultural and mercantile center. Many of its early settlers were from New England and upstate New York. In 1835 the Romeo Academy was established, and in the 1840s the Romeo Branch of the University of Michigan opened in the village. The many examples of nineteenth-century architecture that remain in the village led Michigan and the federal government to list Romeo as a historic district in 1970.
Located on Main at Church Street in Romeo.
Village of Warren-Pioneers, mostly farmers, from New England settled in the Warren area in 1832. Virgin forests supplied logs for the sawmills, which were located on Twelve and Fourteen Mile roads. A strap railroad, one of the first of its kind in Michigan, connected the settlement to Detroit and Utica. By 1875 the community had two churches, a school and several business establishments. It was called Beebe's Corners after John L. Beebe, who operated the toll gate for the plank road that led to Detroit. In 1893 the predominantly German community voted to incorporate as a village, electing Dr. J. D. Flynn as president. Though work and cultural activities draw residents into the Detroit metropolitan community, Warren retains its individual identity in its historic churches, homes and business establishments.
Located at Mound Road at Chicago Road in Warren.
Warren Township District No. 4 School-This building was commonly named the Bunert School, for August and Mine Bunert, who sold the land to Warren School District No. 4 in January 1875. The school was built later that year on the northeast corner of the intersection of Bunert and Martin roads. When classes ceased on 1944, it was the longest-serving one-room school in Warren. In 1987 the board-and-batten building was donated to the Warren Historical Society which moved it to this site and restored it as a museum.
Located at 27600 Bunert Road at Martin in Warren.
Warren Union Cemetery-In 1845 pioneer farmer Peter Gillete sold a parcel of land to eighteen families for use a burial ground. The Warren Union Cemetery Association was organized in 1852 to maintain the cemetery, which consists of two and one-quarter acres. Some of the headstone inscriptions are in German, and 325 of the graves date from the nineteenth century. Many prominent citizens are buried here. Warren Union Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in the city.
Located on Chicago Road, west of Ryan, in Warren.
William Austin Burt-Near this site lived William Austin Burt, inventor, legislator, surveyor and millwright. Born in Massachusetts in 1792, Burt settled in this area in 1824, after spending several years in Erie County, New York. There he had been a justice of the peace, a school inspector, and a postmaster. In Michigan he worked as a land surveyor and a millwright, building over eight mills. He was a member of the Michigan Territorial Legislature in 1826-27. He served as Mount Vernon's first postmaster (1832 - 1856), a Macomb County Circuit Judge (1833),
A state legislator (1853) and a deputy U.S. surveyor (1833 - 1853). Between
1833 and 1857 he and his five sons won acclaim for their accurate work on public land surveys. In 1857 Burt moved to Detroit, where he died in 1858.
America's first patented typewriter was constructed by William Austin Burt in 1829 in a workshop located on this site. It was also here that Burt built the solar compass, patented in 1836, which was the prototype for those used today. Burt's compass became an indispensable instrument for surveying because it used the sun instead of the magnetic north as a fixed reference and was therefore unaffected by the magnetic fields of iron ore deposits. Burt also received a patent for an Equatorial Sextant. Among Burt's other accomplishments were the establishment of the northern point of the Michigan principal meridian in 1840; the discovery of the Marquette iron ore range in 1844 and the establishment of the northern portion of the Michigan - Wisconsin boundary in 1847. In 1852 he assisted in surveying the route for the Soo Canal.
Located at 4300 Main Park Road, Stoney Creek Metropark, Washington Township.
Zion Church-Organized on July 3, 1864, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church was the first German Protestant congregation in Mount Clemens. Its founding trustees were John Rossow and Abraham Devantier from Prussia, John William Miller and Carsten Roecker from Hanover, and John Charles Riemold and John Geirge Murthum from Wuerttemberg. Zion Church operated as a free congregation, welcoming all Christians. It served primarily German-speaking Catholic and Protestant immigrants, including Lutherans, Calvinists and Huguenots. Worshipping at first in the Macomb County Courthouse, the congregation purchased this site, the former Methodist Academy, in 1862. The nave of the present brick sanctuary was built by Minard Barr in 1880. The tower and transepts were added in 1895.
The itinerant ministers who served Zion Church in its formative years were Methodist, Lutheran and Evangelical. The first resident pastor was the Reverend William Kies (1862 - 1864). He was followed by the Reverend Hermann Gundert (1864 - 1903), who contributed $4,000 of his own money to help fund the tower and transept of the present church building. It was not until the 1920s, during the pastorate of the Reverend F.A. Roese (1903 - 26) that English became the language of the worship service and of church records. In the early twentieth century, the congregation turned to humanitarian work. Lead by the Reverend Jacob Wulfmann (1927 - 49), the congregation helped support the Evangelical Deaconess Hospital and the Evangelical Home for Children and Aged in Detroit. In 1961 the church received its present name, Zion United Church of Christ.
Located at 62 New Street in Mt. Clemens.