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‘People are just dying to go to these activities’

Historical Society packs the month with events

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published September 29, 2016

 Prominent local residents, like former Detroit Tigers player Norm Cash, will be featured on the Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society’s cemetery tour.

Prominent local residents, like former Detroit Tigers player Norm Cash, will be featured on the Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society’s cemetery tour.

Photo by Deb Jacques

ORCHARD LAKE — The Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society is offering numerous events throughout October that are available to residents of all ages.

“People are just dying to go to these activities,” said naturalist Carol Fink, who is a guide for the autumn nature walk and is also a docent for this year’s Pine Lake Cemetery tour, which will take place 10-11:30 a.m. Oct. 8. 

Prominent local residents who are buried at Pine Lake Cemetery will be highlighted on the tour, from pioneer John Green to football hero Nick Pietrosante to Detroit Tigers player Norm Cash. Tickets cost $5. 

Mary Bem, president of the Pine Lake Cemetery Association, said the cemetery dates back to 1830 and has grown from 3/4 of an acre to almost 6 acres. This is the third year the society has held the tours. 

Pine Lake Cemetery is the burial place of five Civil War veterans, 283 veterans of other wars, and many  historical figures from the greater West Bloomfield community, including John Doherty and the Green family. Bem said people will enjoy seeing the history of the cemetery and how it has developed. 

On Oct. 9, a collection of antique saws will be displayed at the Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road, that date back to 1890. The collection was started by Jerry McManus in 1976 in Iosco County, Michigan. According to the society’s website, Iosco County is known for its lumbering history. Permanent exhibits that interpret local history and culture will also be on display. There is no charge for the event. 

Fink will again this year hold an autumn nature walk at Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary, 4700 Pontiac Trail, at 2 p.m. Oct. 16. 

“We will be looking for signs of the ever-changing seasons that we’re so lucky to have in Michigan. We’ll learn about photosynthesis ... local plants and animal life,” Fink said.

This time of year, nature enthusiasts can see deer, squirrels, chipmunks and birds, and signs of coyotes and owls at the sanctuary, Fink explained. 

“It’s a time to just enjoy the gifts of Mother Nature, to slow down, to get out of the fast life and take a slow walk in the woods,” Fink said. 

Because the event has grown in popularity over the years, Fink said, people can either stick with the group or take a field guide and “introduce themselves to a tree” on their own. 

The city of Orchard Lake Village is also an event sponsor. There is no charge for the autumn nature walk. 

For more information about the Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society, visit