Rochester Hill Public Library

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Welcome to the Historic Rochester photo scavenger hunt.

This activity will help to teach you about some of the stars in Rochester's history--the people, places, and things that helped to shape Rochester and make it the great city that it is today. To complete this activity, find each of the historic sites listed below and take a picture of yourselves at that site. Don't be afraid to get creative!

#1 - Chapman Mill Pond
The site of the Rochester Hills Public Library and the Rochester Post Office was once part of Chapman Mill Pond. The pond disappeared during a 1946 flood, when a dam broke and the pond flowed into the Paint Creek. Water Street was formerly situated at the edge of the large pond and remains by its name as reminder of the pond's former existence.
Coordinants: 42.683770, -83.130370
#2 - Penn Central Railroad (Paint Creek Trail)
The land which now forms the Paint Creek Trail was once a railroad owned by the Michigan Central Railroad and Penn Central Railroad lines. The railroad was built in 1874 and used until 1974. In 1983, it opened to the public as a trail and now receives over 100,000 visitors each year. By extending the the path of the trail through Rochester, it is easy to find the two buildings which were used to load and unload railroad cars (Hint: one of the two buildings is also a stop on this tour)
Coordinants: 42.684080, -83.131584
#3 - Michigan Central Depot
This building (build in 1872) originally housed a train station in Rochester, Michigan. Passengers loaded the train at this location, and farmers loaded their grain just down the road at the grain elevator. Rail travel peaked around 1900, with 8 passenger and 25 freight trains traveling through Rochester everyday. Shortly thereafter, the Detroit United Railway began a streetcar service to Detroit which drew business from the railroads.
Coordinants: 42.682283, -83.132108
#4 - Western Knitting Mills
The Western Knitting Mills, a large brick building on Water Street, was built in 1896. At one time, its output of 100,000 dozen pairs of gloves annually made it one of the largest glove producers in the world. Today the mill is fully restored, and home to the Rochester Mills Brewery restaurant and several businesses.
Coordinants: 42.680512, -83.131203
#5 - Graham Family Cabin
The first settlers in what would become Rochester, the Graham family, built a log cabin in 1817. The cabin was located where the Quik Pik and Penn Station exist today, and a commemorative marker was placed to recognize the location.
Coordinants: 42.679324, -83.132861
#6 - Paper Mill
In 1824, a flouring mill was built on this site. The flour mill was converted to a paper mill in 1857, and operated until it was burned down by an angry women in 1875. The mill was immediately rebuilt and operated until 2002, making it the oldest continuously operating mill in Michigan. In 2005, the mill was destroyed.
Coordinants: 42.677115, -83.130066
#7 - Bloomer Ski Jump
BONUS STOP: Remains of the ski jump are very hard to find, so if you can find this site, consider it a bonus. All that remains are concrete/metal supports, and hiking through Bloomer park is required.
In 1926, the Hall Brothers of Detroit built a 112-foot ski slide/jump at a cost of $40,000 on a hill in Bloomer park. The ski jump attracted skiers from all around, and international competitions were even hosted here. The ski jump was knocked over and destroyed by wind in 1934, then rebuilt in 1938. When it was destroyed a second time in 1940, it was never rebuilt. Remaining concrete supports can be found in Bloomer park
Coordinants: 42.679411, -83.114679
#8 - Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal
A group of investors started construction on this canal in 1827. The investors were hoping to cross Michigan, but ran out funding and quit in 1844. The canal stretches 30 miles (from Lake St. Clair to Rochester), but was never used commercially.
Ditches, and the remains of an aqueduct across the Clinton River can be found by Yates Cider Mill and in Bloomer Park.
Coordinants: 42.674314, -83.096201
#9 - Stony Creek Schoolhouse
The Stoney Creek Schoolhouse was constructed in 1848, for students such as the Van-Hoosens. The schoolhouse served elementary-high school students until Rochester High School was built in 1931. An addition was built onto the Stoney Creek Schoolhouse in 1952, but the school was closed permanently later that year and students were redistricted other schools.
Coordinants: 42.696914, -83.112235
#10 - Stoney Creek Villiage
Stony Creek village, also called Van Hoosen farm, was once a 300 acre dairy farm. The Van Hoosens were well known for their milk, which they packaged and sent all the way to Detroit. In 1911, two silos (still standing today) were built. For a time, the Van Hoosen's held a record for the largest barn in Oakland County, but that burned down in 1968. Aside from the historical structures, this site also features a museum and access to Stony Creek.
Coordinants: 42.696567, -83.115627

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