Saturday, November 6, 2010

Subdivision Stories: Spring Hill

The Spring Hill subdivisions near the southeast corner of Walton and Adams roads stand on land that was owned by the Ross family for most of the nineteenth century. The property was originally purchased from the federal government in 1825 by Needham Hemingway, a settler who came to Oakland County from Monroe County, New York and built a grist mill in Oakland Township around which the settlement of Goodison would eventually form. By 1857, John Ross, a local builder who had migrated to Michigan from Northampton County, Pennsylvania, owned the land. It later passed to John Ross's sons, George S. Ross and David H. Ross.

We have some information about the inhabitants of the area before Needham Hemingway bought the land, however. This item published in the Rochester Era on November 3, 1899, tells us:

D.H. Ross of Southwest Avon brought to The Era office last Friday a rare collection of Indian arrowheads which he picked up on his farm. In early days an Indian trail ran through the farm and the redmen were in the habit of camping near by on Renshaw's lake [the lake referred to here was on the Jacob Miller farm just to the south of the Ross property and is also known as Miller's Lake on most maps]. Mr. Ross says that he has gathered more than a bushel of arrowheads and other Indian relics, but had given the most of them away. The arrowheads are made of a flinty stone, which looks very much like that which abounds in the Lake Superior region.

The Ross land was eventually purchased by Pontiac real estate investor Edward M. Stout, and in the spring of 1955, his widow, Grace, platted the first Spring Hill subdivision on it. Subsequent Spring Hill subdivisions were platted later in 1955, in 1957 and 1959, and were developed by the Howard T. Keating real estate firm, which offered new houses in the $25-30,000 range. Today there are 323 lots in the combined Spring Hill subdivisions. The original Spring Hill subdivision celebrates its 55th birthday in 2010.

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