Rochester Municipal Park Has Been the Place to Play for 85 Years

The Avon Park dam formed a popular swimming hole. The dam and bridge were dismantled in the 1980s. (From the Archives of the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm) Eighty-five years ago this summer, Rochester residents dedicated a new recreation spot on Paint Creek. Built on the site of a bankrupt dairy farm and a long-abandoned millrace, Avon Park—now Rochester Municipal Park—quickly became a favorite place for area residents to swim, picnic, and play. The property on which Rochester … [Read more...]

How Wilcox Street Was Named

Do you know the story behind the name of Rochester’s Wilcox Street? Early Avon Township settler Lyman J. Willcox and his son Elliot R. Willcox owned part of the land through which Wilcox Street now runs. According to an 1883 account in the Pontiac Gazette, Lyman Willcox left New York City with nothing but a rifle and a pack on his back and walked westward, traversing Ontario, and finally coming to Michigan. He stopped first in Troy Township and then settled in Avon Township in 1824, where … [Read more...]

Water Quality Concern For Adams and Van Hoosen Schools

Rochester Hills Responds to Water Quality Concern During Exam Week Concerns about high mercury levels in the drinking water has closed Rochester Adams High School and Van Hoosen Middle School. No school on Tuesday, May 22, for 6th through 11th grades for students who attend those schools. Seniors will be emailed directly for alternative exam testing locations. The City of Rochester Hills was contacted by the Rochester Community School District this morning regarding a concern about the … [Read more...]

Rochester and the Detroit United Railway

New Book Will Tell Rochester’s DUR History Robert Michalka knows about railroads and local history. The lifelong Rochester area resident is combining his two interests in a forthcoming book entitled Rochester and the Detroit United Railway, scheduled for publication by the Rochester Historical Commission later in 2018. Michalka grew up working on Rochester’s Main Street, where his father, Al Michalka, ran a feed store from 1927 until 1982. The younger Michalka started out at the age of 10 … [Read more...]

Water-Powered Mills of the Rochester Area

Mill Town Heritage of Rochester and Avon Township The real estate professional’s mantra that “location is everything” was as true in Rochester’s pioneer days as it is today. Long before the James Graham party led white settlers to today’s Oakland County, its hospitable lakes and streams and the excellent fishing they offered drew native people to the area. Water also attracted the Grahams and those who followed them. It was an essential element to sustain life, and it would power the new … [Read more...]

Dear Crabby, What is the Floatable Boatable and Why is it Returning?

Dear Crabby, What is the Floatable Boatable and Why is it Returning? Sincerely, Wanda Wandaknow   Well, Well, Well, Wanda, This brings back memories. The Floatable Boatable was an event in 1969 to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Rochester being incorporated into a village. As part of the celebration, men sported beards and women wore hoop skirts. There were parties, parades, and dancing. Memorial Day weekend brought us the Floatable Boatable. Pitched as a sort of regatta … [Read more...]

Teamwork Cleans Up Creek

The Paint Creek is one of the few remaining coldwater-designated trout streams in southeast Michigan, and it’s a popular spot for fly-fishing enthusiasts. To protect, enhance and promote the natural resource, the Clinton River Watershed Council has teamed with several organizations to create the Clinton River Coldwater Conservation Project. Team members include ... READ MORE Photo is Courtesy of the Clinton River Coldwater Conservation Project Original Story from C&G … [Read more...]

Projects that could delay traffic on RCOC roads July 2 through July or might start shortly thereafter

According to the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC), the following projects may cause traffic delays on  roads between July 2 and July 9 or may start shortly thereafter. It is RCOC’s goal to conduct road improvement projects in a way that interferes with traffic as little as possible. This list includes both Road Commission projects and projects conducted by others, under permit, on roads under the jurisdiction of the Road Commission. Please note: This information is subject to … [Read more...]

Orion Road to Close for Two Months

Orion Road Bridge to Close Orion Road will be closed just north of Snell Road to replace the bridge over Paint Creek in the heart of Oakland Township. Starting June 23, the closure will last to approximately August 15 with the complete project wrapping up by September 12. More than 7,000 vehicles cross the bridge every day. The official detour route during the closure will be Rochester Road to Stoney Creek Road and to Orion Road going north and the reverse to head south. However, local … [Read more...]

More renovations planned for RHPL

At its October board meeting the Rochester Hills Public Library Board of Trustees decided to continue with improvements to the library building.  Earlier this year new flooring was installed and reupholstering of furniture in the public areas of the building is almost complete. The next project will be the installation of terrazzo on the library’s main staircase. “We’ve had carpet on the stairs for the past 22 years and have had to replace it every 5 years or so,” said library director … [Read more...]