Jackson using grant money to honor its history

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 8:34 PM EDT
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - One mid-Michigan county is taking steps to honor its history. The Jackson County Historical Society is spending $10,000 on historical markers. The funding is grant money from the Michigan Humanities and the National Endowment for Humanities, part of the CARES Act plan to help the arts rebound from the impact of the coronavirus.

Jackson is looking at putting eight-to-ten historical markers around the county. One of those officials are considering is at Vandercook Lake, which is south of Jackson.

It was once the site of an amusement park.

Once, there was a rollercoaster, a carousel, a shooting range, and a dance hall at the location. Before it closed during the Great Depression lots of people came out to enjoy the amusement park.

Jackson Historical Society’s Maurice Imhoff said, “40,000 people over 110 acres, boat went across the lake, there was a trolley line from downtown Jackson to the park. Down Francis St, which is now MLK. That’s why it’s so wide, a little story there that is kind of unique.”

News 10 also learned the historical society is looking at the commercial exchange building on the east side of Jackson. It’s a huge part of the automotive industry.

Another potential place for a marker is on Jackson’s northside, Camp Jackson, which used to be a Civil War camp. The historical board has a meeting Thursday to discuss the markers.

One is a done deal; The Deland Point marker will be placed on the corner of Mechanic and Franklin streets. It will honor Charles Deland, an anti-slavery advocate and writer who edited a paper called the American Citizen, which later became the Jackson Citizen Patriot.

The site also was a hub for the underground railroad.

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