The Greater Ortonville Chamber of Commerce  •  P. O. Box 152   •     Ortonville, MI 48462   •    248.627.8079
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Ortonville Museum   History of Ortonville Ortonville
Ortonville was founded by Amos Orton in 1848, when he built a dam on Kearsley Creek to provide power to his gristmill.

(Experpts from the 150 Anniversary Book) The small country village of Ortonville, in Brandon Township, with an estimated population of 1,500, and celebrating its 150th birthday in 1998, is located midway between Flint and Pontiac, Michigan. It is bordered by Groveland Township on the west, Oxford on the east, Atlas and Hadley on the north, and Independence Township on the south.

Ortonville is reported to have at least two known Indian burial grounds.

The first roads were Indian trails from one lake to another and M-15 once crossed wet marshlands. A corduroy road wound along what is now South Street.

Amos Orton, born June 7, 1809 - the adventuresome pioneer for whom the village is named made the hazardous journey from Hadley Galls, N. Y. by boat, ox team and wagon in 1839 with his wife, Emily Prosser and two children, Laura and Elhnannan. The rest of his children, born in Michigan, were Elizabeth, Celoska, Celestia, and John. Orton and his family suffered many hazardous hardships as they trudged over muddy old Indian trails across the wilderness from Detroit, via Royal Oak, Troy, and Pontiac, to the far north until they were greeted by the promising Kearsly Creek, winding its way through the virgin timberlands. Orton was an ordained minister: supervisor of Groveland and Brandon Townships and the first Ortonville postmaster.

He erected the first buildings in Ortonville between 1839 and 1857 and operated businesses in them. About 1839 he built his log house north of the Village. In 1856 he built the basic structure of the present Old Mill on Mill Street in Ortonville. This landmark is owned by the Village of Ortonville and operated by the Ortonville Historical Society, serving as a museum and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The oldest house still standing was built by Thomas Tripp in 1851 and is located at 29 South St. It is currently owned by David Nelson.The Village is unique in that you can meander safely through the downtown business district and park in front of your favorite store without seeing a single parking meter. A warm nostalgic feeling may creep over you when greeted by jovial clerks who pass the time of day and assist with your selection and purchase of goods.

As you browse in Hamilton's, currently owned and operated by the Kratt family, you'll learn they sell feed and equipment for large and small animals, fuel oil, plants, and garden supplies. You'll see stoneware crocks for pickling, baby chicks, or maybe, turkeys and ducklings. It's not unusual to see a wire compartment in front of their store with little kittens, puppies, or bunnies looking for a home.The Village benefits by a variety of other businesses, schools, churches, and organizations. It is governed by an elected Village Council.

ClockIn 1968, Emeling Hamilton donated the Old Grist Mill to the Ortonville Historical Society. In 1991, the Historical Society deeded the Old Mill to the Village of Ortonville.

In the center of downtown, an old-fashioned two-faced clock has been installed right across from the Village Square where a kiosk is located for area residents and community organizations to post their latest events. Also, throughout the downtown district, there are several benches for passersby to sit and admire the surroundings, which include a newly transplanted balsam fir tree at the Old Town Hall that is decorated by the local school children for the holidays, and the Veterans Memorial at the Village Square.

Many local families make use of Crossman Park, which is located directly east of the Village offices. There is something for everyone in this park including playground equipment, benches, barbecue grills, picnic tables, and a sand volleyball court. The Village of Ortonville also maintains several baseball fields and Narrin Park, which is located in the northwest corner of the Village on Oakwood Road. Narrin Park has a picnic shelter with picnic tables. There is also a beautiful stream running through the park.

Today, 1250 people live in the one-square-mile village, located in North central Oakland county... and Amos Orton's mill lives on as home to the area's historical museum.

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The Greater Ortonville Chamber of Commerce
P. O. Box 152   •   Ortonville, MI 48462   •    248.627.8079

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