Saturday, July 25, 2009

Heritage: Historic Owosso

The writing studio of James Curwood, built in 1922 in Owosso, Michigan, still stood as a museum on 25-July-2009

FLINT, MICHIGAN - While most of the attention in Owosso, Michigan this weekend is focused on the ongoing Train Festival and its heritage railroad equipment, Owosso itself offers quite a heritage on display.

The first home of a European built at the city's present site along the Shiawassee River was constructed in 1836--and it still stands today. The cabin of Elias Comstock has been moved twice, but today stands only a few hundred meters (er, yards) from its original location, in a park along the river. Just as few cities in Michigan can claim never to have been a village before a city, Owosso can not only claim city-only status, but can claim that its first permanent building still stands.

The Comstock Cabin from the mid-1830's had been moved, but still stood in Owosso, Michigan on 25-July-2009

Standing not far from the Comstock Cabin is the unusual appearance of the Curwood Castle. Constructed as a workshop by novelist James Oliver Curwood in 1922, he wrote in the tower of the building. Upon his death, the structure was donated to the city. Before the establishment of the Steam Railroading Institute, the Curwood Castle was the primary tourist attraction in Owosso, as it contained the city museum besides being interesting in its own right.

On 25-July-2009, a Tim Horton's occupied the plot where Thomas Dewey had been born in Owosso, Michigan

Perhaps the most interesting piece of history in Owosso to a Canadian was the birthplace of Thomas Dewey. The well-known politician who would almost become President of the United States was born near the Shiawasse River--on a site that is now occupied by the most Canadian of institutions--a Tim Horton's restaurant. One wonders what Dewey would think about that.

Most of the steam locomotives will leave after this weekend, but Owosso has its interesting heritage on display every day.

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