Sheepskin Map, School Bell Among Goodison Relics on Display

Oakland Township Historical Society to feature never-before-seen artifacts.

For nearly a year, members of the Oakland Township Historical Society have been busy gathering artifacts, viewing photos and researching the history of Goodison for a new local history and heritage exhibit titled, “Goodison . . . Our History Centers on the Mill,” opening Saturday at the .

The exhibit will highlight Goodison’s rich historical roots with several items on display, including letters, antiques and memorabilia – some of which have never before been seen by the public – all telling a part of Goodison’s story from its pre-settlement days of the early 1800s to the post-war years of the 1950s.

Among the artifacts visitors will see are:

  • A desk and bell from the original one-room Baldwin Schoolhouse.
  • A sheepskin map of the Paint Creek Cemetery (also known as the Baldwin Cemetery) from the 1860s
  • And a 19th century cobbler bench used by William Toms, an ancestor of historical society member and exhibit committee co-chair Colleen Barkham. Originally from England, Toms brought his shoe-making skills to Goodison in the 1840s.

The exhibit, sponsored by Lyon Gear and Machine, Inc. of Goodison and Libby Dwyer/1234 Studio of Oakland Township, will also feature more than 30 paintings from the early 20th century to today, as well as drawings by current students from .


The unincorporated village of Goodison lies within the borders of Oakland Township and was named for the William Goodison family
who came to the area from England in the 1870s.

The Goodisons purchased Needham Hemingway’s grist mill (which once stood near the current Paint Creek Cider Mill) and served as
postmasters for the township. The Detroit and Bay City Railroad established a flag station near the mill and post office and named it Goodison Station.

"The mill became the center of the community and kept the little enclave bustling with activity,” Barkham told .  By the 1950s, Goodison’s agricultural foundations began to crumble as modern amenities and modes of transportation put an end to the railroad.  

Opening Night Reception & Exhibit

A special opening night reception for the exhibit will be held on Sept. 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Paint Creek Cider Mill.

The program will feature Bob Lytle, local author and owner of Lytle’s Pharmacy in downtown Rochester, reading his new poem about Goodison. 

Attendees will also be treated to a special Paint Creek Cider Mill dessert created by Colin Brown, executive chef of the Royal Park Hotel, and have the opportunity to purchase a painting of the Paint Creek Cider Mill and Goodison by artist Gerry Schuchard.  Money from the sale of the painting will benefit the Oakland Township Historical Society.

A limited number of tickets are available for $10 per person and can be purchased by calling the historical society at 248-693-8660.

“Goodison . . . Our History Centers on the Mill” is free and open to the public beginning Saturday. Though the exhibit runs through Dec. 3, many of the smaller memorabilia items will be on display opening weekend only and will be removed from the exhibit after Sunday.

The weekend will also include guided tours of Goodison. If you’d like to help volunteer to guide a walking tour, contact the Oakland Township Historical Society at 248-693-8660 or online at www.oaklandtownshiphistoricalsociety.org.


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