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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Rochester Hills in Oakland County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Lake Norcentra

 
 
Lake Norcentra Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, September 20, 2020
1. Lake Norcentra Marker
Inscription.  
Originally a gravel pit operated during the early 1900s by Isaac Boomer, Lake Norcentra has served as a focal point of Rochester College since 1959. Early college leaders derived the lake's name from the first institutional name, North Central Christian College. Photographs of Lake Norcentra often appeared on the college's early promotional materials and students readily embraced the symbol.

The college purchased the initial acreage from Detroit advertising executive Lou Maxon. The property included his estate house, now named Gallaher Center, and the area surrounding Lake Norcentra. Maxon lavishly landscaped his country estate and placed a totem pole on the lake's island. The early students took a cue from that totem pole and decided to become the Warriors. The totem pole is now housed in the lobby of the Garth Pleasant Arena.

The lake has sparked numerous legends over the years, including stories of a railroad car at the bottom of the lake, a child drowning, and the existence of giant turtles in the lake. Stories connecting Lake Norcentra to marriage proposals began surfacing as early as 1965. In time, the rumor
Lake Norcentra Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, September 20, 2020
2. Lake Norcentra Marker
evolved into an assertion that couples daring to walk around the lake three times would end up engaged.

Ranging from quiet moments of solitude to the mischievous pranks of students, Lake Norcentra has provided countless memories for the college community. Some of the legends have been confirmed, like the railroad car that is now buried by years of eroded soil and leaves. Other legends undoubtedly will emerge as park visitors and the college community continue to enjoy a seasonal display of God's handiwork in the beautiful setting of Lake Norcentra Park.
 
Erected by Rochester College.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionEducationParks & Recreational AreasWaterways & Vessels.
 
Location. 42° 40.047′ N, 83° 8.85′ W. Marker is in Rochester Hills, Michigan, in Oakland County. Marker can be reached from West Avon Road 0.7 miles west of South Rochester Road (State Highway 150), on the right when traveling west. Marker is in Lake Norcentra Park, which is on the north side of the Rochester University campus, next to the Clinton River Trail. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 800 West Avon Road, Rochester MI 48307, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Slater-Montgomery Family Chapel (a few steps from this marker);
Lake Norcentra Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, September 20, 2020
3. Lake Norcentra Marker
The Maxon Estate (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ken and Dorothy Stewart (about 300 feet away); Shane D. Carter (about 400 feet away); Mount Avon Cemetery (approx. 0.8 miles away); Disaster Strikes at Rochester Depot (approx. 0.8 miles away); George Vandeventer House (approx. one mile away); The Torch (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rochester Hills.
 
Lake Norcentra Park Sign image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, September 20, 2020
4. Lake Norcentra Park Sign
Entrance to Lake Norcentra Park from the Clinton River Trail.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 8, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 11, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 49 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 11, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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Mar. 3, 2021