Mesick, Michigan may be a small town, but it is rich in history. Located in the northwestern part of the Lower Peninsula, Mesick has seen its share of historical events throughout the years. Here are seven of the most notable:
1. Logging boom of the late 1800s
Mesick was at the heart of the logging boom that occurred in the late 1800s. The town was founded in 1899 as a logging camp, and the surrounding area was heavily forested with white pine. The population exploded as timber companies set up shop and workers flooded in to harvest the trees. The logging industry brought prosperity to the region, but also created deforestation and environmental damage.
2. The Mesick potato festival
The Mesick potato festival has been an annual event in the town since 1950. The festival celebrates the region's agricultural heritage, and is a popular gathering for locals and visitors alike. The festival features parades, live music, carnival rides, and of course, plenty of food made from Michigan-grown potatoes.
3. The Batson murders
One of the most notorious crimes in Mesick's history occurred in 1942, when three members of the Batson family were brutally murdered in their home. The perpetrator was never caught, and the case remains unsolved to this day. The murders shook the tight-knit community, and the house where the crime occurred has since been demolished.
4. The Great Depression
Like much of the country, Mesick was heavily impacted by the Great Depression of the 1930s. Many residents lost their jobs and struggled to make ends meet. The federal government's New Deal programs, including the Civilian Conservation Corps, provided some relief and helped to build infrastructure in the area.
5. Mesick High School fire
In 1964, a fire destroyed the Mesick High School building. Students had to complete the remainder of the school year in makeshift classrooms, and a new school building was eventually constructed. The fire was a devastating blow to the town, but the community came together to rebuild and support the affected families.
6. The Mesick tornado
In 2019, a tornado touched down near Mesick, causing widespread damage and power outages. Fortunately, no one was killed or seriously injured. The tornado was a reminder that even small towns like Mesick are not immune to severe weather events.
7. The Mesick UFO sighting
In 1967, several residents of Mesick reported seeing a strange object in the sky that they couldn't identify. The incident became known as the "Mesick UFO sighting," and remains a topic of interest for UFO enthusiasts to this day. While there is no conclusive evidence to support the claims of the witnesses, the sighting remains a part of Mesick's folklore.
Overall, Mesick's history is a mix of triumphs and tragedies, reflecting the experiences of many small towns across the country. From the logging boom to the potato festival, the Batson murders to the high school fire, these events have shaped the town and its residents in many ways.
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