Located at the heart of Michigan, Roscommon has a rich history that predates the state's admission to the Union in 1837. Being an important transportation hub, Roscommon's history is intertwined with the transport mode of the time. This led to the area playing host to many events and happenings throughout history. Here are seven historical events that took place near Roscommon, MI.
1. Formation of Roscommon County
One of the primary developments in the history of Roscommon is the formation of the county of the same name. It happened in 1840 when Crawford County was subdivided. It led to the establishment of Roscommon County with Roscommon as the county seat.
2. The Wellington Disaster
Roscommon was a bustling rail hub during the late 1800s and saw one of the worst rail accidents of the time when the Wellington Disaster happened on February 22, 1870. It occurred near Wellington and resulted in the death of 18 people and injury of many others. The event has been described as the worst winter railroad disaster in American history.
3. Truman Manors Launches World War II Planes
The Roscommon Army Airfield was an important military base during World War II, and Truman Manors was one of the notable figures in the base's history. Born in Roscommon, Manors was an engineer, test pilot, and long-time vice president of the Boeing Company. His firm contributed significantly to the United States' military aviation might, including through the design of the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, which Manors launched from the Roscommon Army Airfield.
4. North American Arctic Expedition
One of the famous history-making events in Roscommon took place in April 1908 when the North American Arctic Expedition team selected Roscommon as the starting point of their traverse to the Arctic. The event aimed to conduct scientific research, including recording astronomical observations in the northern hemisphere, which lent important information on the behavior of earth's magnetic forces.
5. Fire Tower Observation Platform Built
The fire tower observation platform in Roscommon County was built in the 1930s. It was part of efforts to contain forest fires in Michigan. Standing at 120 feet, the tower offered a 360-degree bird's-eye view of the forest below, enabling fire officials to detect, locate, and respond to forest fires. The tower still stands, and tourists can climb up to access the views.
6. The Key to the North
Roscommon served as the critical point in the transportation infrastructure linking Saginaw and the northern areas of Michigan. Saginaw was the state's largest action port during the 19th century, and Roscommon was at the heart of the transport infrastructure that connected Saginaw to the Northern Michigan areas. The town, therefore, played a vital role in linking the north to the rest of the state.
7. Roscommon Women's contributions to the War Effort
During World War II, Roscommon's women made significant contributions to the war effort, with many working in factories, hospitals, and military installations. At the time, many men went to war, creating a chance for women to enter formerly male-dominated industries such as manufacturing and military command.
In conclusion, Roscommon's history is extensive and varied, and the town played host to significant events and happenings over the years. By understanding the town's past, we can learn from our history and appreciate the role that Roscommon played in building Michigan and the country as a whole.
- Tags: MI