Royal Oak – A Small Town that Preserves its History:
Although Royal Oak doesn’t have quite as much history as some of the major cities in Michigan like Detroit or Lansing, it does a great job to preserve and promote what it does have. The main museum in Royal Oak is the Royal Oak Historical Society Museum. The museum is housed in an old fire station and contains revolving exhibits depending on with the time of year and the main events happening in Royal Oak at the time. For example, in summer 2016, the main focus was on the history of Woodward Avenue, the Dream Cruise, and the car industry. In addition to the main exhibits, the building also houses several old books from the early period of Royal Oak and yearbooks from the main high school for the past 75 or so years. Another historical site is the Orson Starr House. The house of one of Royal Oak’s first major businessmen, the Starr house is a National Historic Landmark built in 1845 and is open for tours. Near city hall and next to the library is the Barbara A Hallman Memorial Plaza. “The Star Dream” statue is in the center. The sculpture was created by Marshall Fredericks, a famous sculptor and a son of the city. The public library has gathered and houses newspapers, photos, family albums and other items for people to trace their history and to learn about the early days of the city.
Royal Oak also helps preserve the history of the country. There are currently plans to construct a World War II Memorial. In the downtown area, a War Memorial was erected to remember soldiers who served or died in World War 1, World War II and the Vietnam and Korean Wars.