Oakland Township officials, staff and residents pose by the new Michigan historical marker for the Paint Creek Cider Mill that was unveiled Oct. 7.

Oakland Township officials, staff and residents pose by the new Michigan historical marker for the Paint Creek Cider Mill that was unveiled Oct. 7.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Paint Creek Cider Mill earns state historical marker

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published October 29, 2019

 Oakland Township Supervisor Mike Bailey was part of the Oct. 7 dedication ceremony for the Michigan historical marker at the Paint Creek Cider Mill.

Oakland Township Supervisor Mike Bailey was part of the Oct. 7 dedication ceremony for the Michigan historical marker at the Paint Creek Cider Mill.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Advertisement

OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — The state has marked a local landmark’s place in history.

On Oct. 7, state and local leaders, along with township residents, came together to dedicate the Paint Creek Cider Mill building’s state historical marker.

“This is a big deal for Oakland Township,” Supervisor Mike Bailey said during the dedication celebration.

The amount of time and effort that goes into applying for a historical marker is “pretty incredible,” according to Susan Safford, of the Michigan Historic Commission.

“It usually takes about three years from the very beginning to the very end, because we want to make sure that stories are very authentic, and we check every point,” she said.

Oakland Township Historic Preservation Planner Barbara Barber said it took her about a year and a half to gather the necessary information, only because she had already done much of the research for a National Register of Historic Places nomination that the township’s Historic District Commission has been working on for several years. Heather Lehman, a graduate student from the Michigan Historical Commission, worked on verifying all of the research and helped formulate the marker text.

The Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Road in Oakland Township, has been a longtime landmark and historical site in the township.

The front of the historical marker reads, “Paint Creek Cider Mill was built in stages between 1958 and 1968. … The wheel room, which was built first, contained an 1890s Edison bipolar dynamo generator and a Fitz water-wheel that lit the room with water-powered electricity. The cider mill’s construction followed. A later addition connected the wheel room and cider mill. Timbers salvaged from the 1835 gristmill were incorporated throughout the new building’s interior. The mill opened as a tourist attraction in the 1960s, selling fresh cider and donuts to large weekend crowds. Paint Creek Cider Mill Restaurant opened in the wheel room in 1983. The waterwheel was restored ten years later. Oakland Township acquired the building by donation in 2005 and began using the second floor as office space.”

Safford said it was an honor and a privilege for her to present the cider mill with a Michigan historical marker.

“The history here goes back a very long way, and really, the stories and the people and the events that happened here really need to be told so all Michiganders can enjoy what is our history and really have pride in our state. This is what builds pride,” she said.

The Michigan Historical Marker Program was established by the Legislature and governor in 1955. Since then, more than 1,700 markers have been placed all across the state of Michigan, showing the importance a community places on its heritage and serving as signposts of historical significance.

For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/mhc.

Advertisement