Ortonville, MI is a small town in Oakland County, Michigan. Despite being a small town, Ortonville has a rich history, with several significant events taking place near the town. Here are seven historical events that have taken place near Ortonville, MI.
1. The Battle of Long Lake
Ortonville was the site of the Battle of Long Lake, which took place in 1812 during the War of 1812. The battle was fought between British and American forces, with the British emerging victorious. The battle marked a significant moment in the war, as the British were able to secure control of the Great Lakes.
2. The Underground Railroad
Ortonville was a key stop on the Underground Railroad, which helped escaped slaves flee from the South to freedom in the North. The town's location near the Canadian border made it an ideal place for slaves to cross over into Canada. Several homes in Ortonville served as safe houses for escaped slaves.
3. The Automobile Industry
Michigan played a crucial role in the development of the automobile industry in the United States. Ortonville was home to several car manufacturers, including the Ortonville Buggy Company and the Union Machine Company. These companies helped to establish Michigan as a hub for the automobile industry.
4. The Great Fire of 1908
In 1908, a massive fire broke out in the nearby town of Metamora, MI. The fire destroyed several homes and businesses, and threatened to spread to nearby towns, including Ortonville. However, a group of local firefighters was able to contain the fire, preventing it from spreading to Ortonville.
5. The Civil War
Several soldiers from Ortonville fought in the Civil War. One of the most notable soldiers was Major John E. Montieth, who served in the 23rd Michigan Infantry Regiment. Montieth was wounded twice during the war, but survived and went on to become a successful businessman.
6. The Great Depression
The Great Depression had a significant impact on Ortonville and the surrounding area. Many businesses and farms were forced to close due to the economic downturn. However, the town was able to weather the storm, and many residents were able to find work through New Deal programs.
7. The Flint Water Crisis
In recent years, the nearby city of Flint, MI has been at the center of a major water crisis. The crisis began in 2014, when the city switched its water source to the Flint River. The new water supply was contaminated with lead, which caused serious health problems for residents. Many residents of nearby towns, including Ortonville, rallied to support Flint and provide clean drinking water.
In conclusion, Ortonville, MI and the surrounding area has a colorful history, with several significant events that have taken place over the years. From battles and fires to the automobile industry and the underground railroad, the town has played a vital role in shaping Michigan's history. Today, Ortonville stands as a proud testament to its rich past, and remains a vibrant and welcoming community.
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