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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)
 

Gateway to Nature

at the Orchard Lake Beach Trolley Stop

 
 
Gateway to Nature Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
1. Gateway to Nature Marker
Inscription.
Many Detroiters escaped to nature on the trolleys
of the Detroit United Railway (DUR) in the early 1900s. The Orchard Lake Beach stop was located here, where the parallel Grand Trunk Railroad and DUR trolley tracks crossed Orchard Lake Road. It was a very popular stop for people enjoying day trips to Orchard Lake for swimming and picnicking. The DUR highlighted local attractions by building trolley stops at lakes, resorts and amusement parks. Over time, the trolley cars became more luxurious, featuring ornate interiors and dining cars. Fares averaged a penny a mile and the electric trolleys could reach fifty miles per hour.

You Auto Know Because the elecctric trolleys operated quietly, accidents sometimes occurred with surprised people and other vehicles.
 
Erected by MotorCities National Heritage Area, National Park Service.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the MotorCities National Heritage Area marker series.
 
Location. 42° 35.204′ N, 83° 21.336′ W. Marker is in West Bloomfield Township, Michigan, in Oakland County. Marker is on Orchard Lake Road, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is on the West Bloomfield
Upper Left Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
2. Upper Left Image
Sunday visitors at the south end of Orchard Lake, near Indian Trail and Orchard Lake Road, about 1900. Apple Island is in the background. Unless noted otherwise, all photos are courtesy of the Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society.
Trail, a bicycling/hiking trail, at Orchard Lake Road crossing #2, which is about 330 feet north of the intersection of Orchard Lake Road and Indian Trail. Marker is in this post office area: West Bloomfield MI 48324, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Apple Island (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Waiting for the Trolleys (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Orchard Lake Museum (approx. 0.3 miles away); Tracks Over Tracks (approx. 0.3 miles away); Lakes and Attractions (approx. 0.4 miles away); Waiting Room and the "Wye" (approx. half a mile away); Remembering Historic Railways (approx. mile away); A Lake and a Trolley (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Bloomfield Township.
 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
 
Middle Left Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
3. Middle Left Image
A horse and carriage along Indian Trail beside Orchard Lake, about 1900.
Lower Left Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
4. Lower Left Image
Shorty Hook's Place and Tourist Cabins along Orchard Lake Road at Pine Lake, 1940s.
Map (detail) image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
5. Map (detail)
This 1917 "Orchard Lake Station Map" shows the side-by-side Grand Trunk Railroad track and the electric trolley track that ran through the area. The circle indicates the Orchard Lake Road crossing near where you are standing along the West Bloomfield Trail. Map courtesy of Brian Golden.
Lower Middle Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
6. Lower Middle Image
The DUR electric trolley at the Orchard Lake Road crossing, about 1910. The sign says, "LOOK OUT FOR CAR." Photo courtesy of Brian Golden.
Right Images image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
7. Right Images
Top: Curling stones slid across ice toward a target. Bottom: Locals enjoying the winter sport of curling on frozen Orchard Lake, about 1900. Landowner Peter Dow organized the Orchard Lake Curling Club in the late 1800s, believed to be the first such club in America.
Gateway to Nature Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, July 2, 2017
8. Gateway to Nature Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 6, 2017. This page originally submitted on July 5, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 57 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 5, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.   3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on July 6, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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