Passing the Past
People pass by the past everyday going to work, school or just going shopping. In the village of Goodison, the heart of Oakland Township, there are several examples of this. Historic homes, churches and businesses are ready to be noticed as you pass through the area. While many commuters will use Orion Road as a quick link between Downtown Rochester and Lake Orion, others will make the transit by foot, bike or horse along the Paint Creek Trail. Still others make Goodison a destination, going to the local cider mills or transporting kids to Baldwin School.
Starting with the School
Baldwin Elementary School sits in view from Orion Road at Banister Road and Hilltop Avenue. Five additions have been added since it was built in 1927 and some of the original façade is still visible in the center section of the building. The original one-room school house sat at the corner of Orion and Gunn Roads.
The Cider Mills
It’s difficult to believe that two cider mills are just a quarter mile apart, but it’s true. The Paint Creek Cider Mill building, on Orion Road and across from Collins Road, is now owned by Oakland Township and houses several area entities, including The Paint Creek Trailways Commission and the Oakland Township Historical Society. The current building was built in stages from 1959-1973.The well-known restaurant and working cider mill are long gone. However, the building houses a small retail area that sells cider, donuts, pizza and ice cream.
Looking for the real deal of apple cider making? The Goodison Cider Mill, on Orion Road at Hilltop Avenue, was built in 1965 and still presses apples the old-fashioned way, making cider most weekends in the fall. Donuts, pies and breads also made on site from Labor Day until Christmas.
The Paint Creek Market
Local timber was used to build this structure in 1914 and was originally located across from the Paint Creek Mill. It was moved in the early 1950’s to its current location on Territorial Road. Instead of the proprietor living above the store, tenants now rent the upstairs apartment.
The Emma Fall House on Collins Road was built in 1904 and has dentil shingles and siding and is a nice example of Victorian Carpenter style. The Carroll & Ella Thrush House, also on Collins Road, was built in 1900 and is rumored to have been converted from a lumber shed. It now houses Paint Creek Dentistry. The oldest house in the area from the original Goodison Settlement is the Toms/Barkham House on Collins Road. Built in 1852, its first owner was William Toms. It passed to his daughter Mary, who was married to George Barkham. It’s now used as a day care.
The Church Parsonage on Collins Road was built in 1891 with the help of Reverend Dimond, a minister of the Paint Creek Church. A two-story house that often rented to the clergy of nearby churches is now a private residence. The Paint Creek United Methodist Church is still in operation, also on Collins Road. It was originally located on the corner of Rochester and Buell Roads, built in 1855, and was called St. John’s Methodist Church then. It was moved in 1887 for a cost of $89 by horse and wagon.
Slow Down in Goodison
Visit the heart of Oakland Township more slowly next time and enjoy the history it has to offer. Pick up information about all the landmark historic sites at the Oakland Township Historical Society (in the Paint Creek Mill) at 4480 Orion Road.
Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at Michael@RochesterMedia.com