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Oakland County

July 30, 2014

Looking Back: Pine Grove property is rich in history

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In 1845, Moses Wisner and his family settled in Oakland County on a parcel of land known then as the Saginaw Trail and dubbed the property Pine Grove.

Wisner made his living practicing law but retained a love of farming. He purchased land to garden, and raise cattle and chickens. He built barns, a smokehouse, an ice house, a root cellar, a greenhouse, a carriage and a hen house.

In 1858, Wisner was elected the 12th governor of Michigan. Since no governor’s mansion existed in Lansing, Wisner altered his home to accommodate his new responsibilities.

Following his first term as governor, Wisner organized the 22nd Michigan Infantry, which trained at the Pontiac Fairgrounds. On Aug. 25, 1862, the 22nd Michigan Infantry left Pontiac for Kentucky with Col. Moses Wisner in command.

Before leaving, Wisner conveyed his Pine Grove property to his wife, Angeolina. In January 1863, Wisner died of typhoid fever.

Angeolina Hascall Wisner maintained Pine Grove as her home until her death in 1905. When she died, the property passed to her daughter, Jessie Wisner Clark, and eventually to her granddaughter, Florence Clark Wallace.

In 1945, Wallace sold the property to the Oakland County Pioneer and Veterans Historical Foundation, and also gave the foundation many of the Wisner family furnishings.

Today, Pine Grove consists of over 4 acres of land, the Wisner house and several other buildings, including a summer kitchen, an outhouse, a smokehouse and the root cellar. There is also the Drayton Plains One Room Schoolhouse and the carriage house, which is home to a research library, offices and the Pioneer Museum.

The former home of Gov. Moses Wisner is one of the main attractions to visitors of the Pine Grove Historical Museum, located at 405 Cesar Chavez Ave. in Pontiac.

— Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society