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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
West Bloomfield Township in Oakland County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Settling the Dust

The Countryside Improvement Association

 
 
Settling the Dust Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
1. Settling the Dust Marker
Inscription.
The lakes and landscape of Oakland County weren't ready
for the automobile in the early 1900s. Weekend visitors, in noisy "self-propelled" vehicles, churned up dust on unpaved roads and trespassed on private property. To address these difficulties, women from Pine and Orchard Lakes formed the Countryside Improvement Association in 1911. Their early fundraising paid to settle the dust by spraying oil on roads. Further efforts improved the region's roads and signs, and defined road rules and property rights. Countryside fundraising continues to support charities and scholarships.

Michigan's first state parks
in the tri-county region were created in Oakland County as destinations for visitors. In 1922 the Dodge Brothers Motor Company and Howard and Amy Bloomer worked with the Countryside Improvement Association to purchase county land for public parks. A later report wrote that "weekenders found a pleasant place by the side of the road..."

You Auto Know
During World War I, the Countryside Improvement Association canned fruit and vegetables for American troops overseas.
 
Erected by Motorcities National Heritage Area, National Park Service.
 
Marker series. This
Upper Left Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
2. Upper Left Image
An envelope from the 1916 Oakland County Centennial. Courtesy of Ron Gay.
marker is included in the MotorCities National Heritage Area marker series.
 
Location. 42° 34.074′ N, 83° 23.59′ W. Marker is in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan, in Oakland County. Marker can be reached from Arrowhead Road 0.3 miles south of Pontiac Trail. Touch for map. Marker is on the West Bloomfield Trail, near the West Bloomfield Nature Preserve parking lot. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4655 Arrowhead Road, West Bloomfield MI 48323, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Great Blues (approx. 0.4 miles away); Go in Peace (approx. 0.6 miles away); Remembering Historic Railways (approx. 1.7 miles away); The Orchard Lake Museum (approx. 2.1 miles away); Waiting for the Trolleys (approx. 2.1 miles away); Apple Island (approx. 2.3 miles away); Gateway to Nature (approx. 2.3 miles away); Tracks Over Tracks (approx. 2.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Bloomfield Township.
 
Also see . . .  The First Twenty-Five Years Of The Countryside Improvement Ass'n. Of Orchard and Pine Lakes Oakland. Online copy of a booklet covering the early history of the Countryside Improvement Association. (Submitted on July 4, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 
 
Categories. EnvironmentRoads & Vehicles
 
Lower Left Images image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
3. Lower Left Images
Left: Georgia Hoyt, organizer of a festival of music and dance as a Countryside fundraiser during the 1916 Oakland County Centennial. Photo courtesy of Ron Gay.
Right: At the 1916 centennial, a plaque was dedicated that reads: "This tablet marks the end of the Indian trail from Mt. Clemens to Orchard Lake. Chief Pontiac and his braves retired to Me-Nah-Sa-Gor-Ning after the Battle of Bloody Run. Placed by the Countryside Improvement Association, 1916."
Center Images image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
4. Center Images
Left: Dodge #4 State Park on Cass Lake. Photo courtesy of Pontiac Public Library.
Right: Howard Bloomer. Photo courtesy of the American Academy for Parks & Recreation Administration.
Old Orchard Trail Sign image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
5. Old Orchard Trail Sign
Countryside created the first names and signs for roads in the lakes area. Drawing courtesy of Countryside Improvement Association.
Upper Right Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
6. Upper Right Image
"Weekenders" arrive on crowded dusty roads at the Wilkins Corners gas station at the intersection of Orchard Lake Road and Pontiac Trail, 1930s. Photo courtesy of Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society.
Bottom Right Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
7. Bottom Right Image
In 1920 Countryside raised money for an enclosed dining hall for the Detroit Free Press Fresh Air Camp in Sylvan Lake (above). Photo courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.
Bottom Far Right Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
8. Bottom Far Right Image
Bill for a Countryside luncheon meeting in 1912 at the Auto Club of Detroit, now the Pine Lake Country Club, where meetings were held in the early years. Courtesy of Countryside Improvement Association.
Settling the Dust Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
9. Settling the Dust Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 6, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 4, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 58 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on July 4, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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