HISTORIC EVENTS OF SIGNIFICANCE IN LAKE ORION
The Village of Lake Orion has a deep historic past that was created through many significant events.
In 1844 the first schoolhouse was built on the corner of Church and Anderson Streets. This building is still standing and is now a private residence.
When the railroad came in 1872, Orion progressed rapidly. Travelers discovered the rare beauty of the village surrounded by lakes. In 1874 a group of men purchased what was later to be called Park Island, constructing a bridge to the mainland, a dance hall, a viewing tower and an amphitheater. Trains made four daily trips to the village, bringing thousands of people to the area. Park Island became an amusement center, complete with a roller coaster.
Orion had three major fires in its downtown: 1862, 1874, and 1899. Each time, the town was almost completely destroyed and residents rebuilt it from the rubble. A new well was added in 1930 to offset the dangers of fire which seemed to plague this town.
In 1909 a Marine Postal Center was established, with mail delivered to the over three hundred cottages on the lake and islands by way of boat. Lake Orion was the first town in the United States to have this service.
In 1919 Main Street was paved, and in 1927 a new school was built.
In 1929 the village known as “Orion” was officially renamed “Lake Orion”. To this day, no one knows why ‘Orion’ is pronounced “aw-ree-un”.