When a community like Troy is formed from the wilderness (or native lands), people naturally want to associate places with names. Some of our current street names are extensions of streets of French Detroit—hence Livernois and Dequindre. Some can be called destination roads—for where they lead, such as Rochester and Long Lake Roads. But this is just scratching the modern surface of a more extensive history of being on the map. My memory makes Colonel Joseph Wampler in charge of the survey that established the boundaries of “town 2 north and range 11 east”. The survey I refer to took place over the winter of 1815-1816. Michigan was a territory; counties had yet to form, much less individual townships.
For map interest, it matters to many that Troy can connect itself to our colonial past. Records indicate that 5 Revolutionary War soldiers were living in Troy when they died. Historians expect they are buried in Troy. However, only 3 of these have known (and marked) grave sites. Walter Blount’s final resting place is in Union Corners Cemetery near the Square Lake Road fence. The homestead locations, family lore, and other clues suggest that two others, Esbon Gregory and Zadock Wellman, are buried at Union Corners, too. The other marked gravesites are in the Crooks Road Cemetery. That’s where one will find Samuel Niles and Silas Sprague (and their families).
Families that lived in Troy have also put their names on the map—literally—with street names corresponding to the family home or business. Therefore you’ll find streets named Peacock (poultry), Lovell (farmer and gas station owner), Houghton (small engine repair), Atkins, Aspinwall (multi-generational residents), and Norton (dairy) in north Troy. The plastic model company AMT on Maple Road made Troy known, too, but there is little but memories (and an image, or two) to show it. In their day AMT produced hundreds of thousands of assemble-from-parts model car kits.
Troy is on the map as a desirable place to live, a great place to shop, and for its many places for sports (Troy Sports Center, Sanctuary Lake and Sylvan Glen Golf Courses). The Lloyd Stage Nature Center on 99 acres of land catches the attention of birders and hikers and nature enthusiasts. One of the early additions of a Troy History brochure was titled “Troy: Next Five Exits.”
I realize many of you won’t sit through 50 examples, so I will leave you with two more—Larry Keisling and Dick Beaubien, who worked as City Planner and Traffic Engineer, respectively. They are both retired now. Larry sings with the Langsford Mens’ Chorus and so do I.
Click here to view links from blog.