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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Gagetown in Tuscola County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Powerhouse

 
 
Powerhouse Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joel Seewald, August 27, 2021
1. Powerhouse Marker
Inscription.  In 1895, James Purdy started to acquire acreage along the east side of Richie Road. By 1918, he had acquired 560 acres, which was mostly swampland including all of Mud Lake just a half-mile northeast of this Barn Site. His goal was to build a full-sized generating plant to supply power for Gagetown and Owendale. That same year he traveled to Canada to visit a peat fired power plant to gain more information. Upon returning he hired Ottomar Sting and his father to begin digging a ditch to drain Mud Lake, so he could harvest the peat, dry it into brick-sized cakes and use it as fuel for the steam boiler. He built this 12 ft. by 20 ft. Powerhouse as a test site. Unable to get the peat to burn hot enough to produce enough steam for the steam engine to drive the generator at a constant RPM, in 1922 he gave up the idea. He then purchases a Delco System, similar to what is on display inside, to provide power on site. In 1938 James signed the paperwork to have a pole set at this address and commercial power was finally brought to the site. Reconstruction of the Powerhouse was completed in 2008. It stands as a testimony to James Purdy's ingenious foresight.
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Erected by Thumb Octagon Barn Agricultural Museum.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNotable Buildings. A significant historical year for this entry is 1895.
 
Location. 43° 40.278′ N, 83° 13.013′ W. Marker is near Gagetown, Michigan, in Tuscola County. Marker can be reached from Richie Road , 0.9 miles north of Bay City Forestville Road. Marker is at the Thumb Octagon Barn Agricultural Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6948 Richie Road, Gagetown MI 48735, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Octagon Barn (within shouting distance of this marker); Garage (within shouting distance of this marker); House (within shouting distance of this marker); One Room Schoolhouse (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Blacksmith Shop (about 500 feet away); Sugar Shack (about 500 feet away); Cider Mill (about 500 feet away); Grain Elevator (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gagetown.
 
Powerhouse and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joel Seewald, August 27, 2021
2. Powerhouse and Marker
Powerhouse Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joel Seewald, August 27, 2021
3. Powerhouse Marker
Thumb Octagon Barn Agricultural Museum Sign
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 6, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 82 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 6, 2021, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.

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Feb. 28, 2024