CMPL hosts presentation on Macomb Township’s history

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published March 11, 2021

 On Feb. 24, author Linda Osborne Cynowa discussed her recent book “Images of America: Macomb Township,” at a virtual presentation hosted by the Clinton-Macomb Public Library.

On Feb. 24, author Linda Osborne Cynowa discussed her recent book “Images of America: Macomb Township,” at a virtual presentation hosted by the Clinton-Macomb Public Library.

File photo provided by Linda Osborne Cynowa

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — When Linda Osborne Cynowa moved to Macomb Township in the 1980s, she didn’t realize the amount of history bound up in the 36-square-mile community.

It wasn’t until she got a little older when she realized the value of trying to preserve some local history.

On Feb. 24, Osborne Cynowa discussed her recent book “Images of America: Macomb Township,” at a virtual presentation hosted by the Clinton-Macomb Public Library.

“Over the years, Macomb Township has become one of the fastest growing communities in the county,” a description for the presentation states. “Good schools and beautiful parks have been added, along with a new township complex, a recreational center and a public library. Created by settlers wanting greater connection to neighbors and friends, Macomb Township continues to offer that same type of close-knit community.”

In August, Osborne Cynowa released the 128-page book. It includes around 220 historical photos of Macomb Township.

“Writing a book like this is something you don’t pull off alone,” she said. “A lot of interested and helpful people were there to provide answers and break down the brick walls that were sometimes there.”  

She shared stories of farm and family life in Macomb Township dating back over 100 years.  

Osborne Cynowa, who resides in Washington Township, outlined that what is now 21 Mile Road was originally known as Shoemaker Road, 22 Mile Road as Waldenburg Road, 23 Mile Road east of Romeo Plank Road as Whiskey Road and west of Romeo Plank as Coldwater Road.

“The reason the names were split up was on John Miller’s side of 23 Mile, they would drink whiskey,” Osborne Cynowa said. “On one side, they would drink water and he said it was fine to drink the water, but that if they heard about the whiskey, they would’ve wanted to move there.”

Heading north in the township, 24 Mile Road was called French Road, 25 Mile was known as Arnold Road and the last mile road in the township, 26 Mile, was known as the Marine City Highway.

Osborne Cynowa shared the story of Daniel Miller, who, in 1880, relocated with his wife to Washington Township where he spent 10 years working on a farm, which would later be run by his son, Nelson Miller.

Describing the Waldenburg area of Macomb Township, an unincorporated section of the township along Romeo Plank Road, Osborne Cynowa said the Stier family contributed greatly to the area.

The family established Stier Hardware in 1903 in an old post office building at the southeast corner of 22 Mile and Romeo Plank roads. The building was demolished in 2003.

At the northwest corner of 22 Mile and Romeo Plank roads, the original building was Peterson General Store, which burned down in 1908.

In 1909, construction began on a new store, known as the Dopp Building.

When completed, the Dopp store sold groceries, clothing and furniture on the main floor. There was also space on the second floor for Ford automobile sales. Later, a dance floor was installed where the “Heidelberg 8” played German music.

Osborne Cynowa’s next project is a book encompassing the farming life of the nine townships north of Hall Road in Macomb County.