Saturday, February 4, 2012

Subdivision Stories: Junction Land Company

Containing just one side street and only 38 lots, the Junction Land Company subdivision is one of Rochester Hills' smallest.  It was platted in April 1920 by Eva Barwise and her partners, John and Ella Peters and Arthur and Isabelle Law.  The subdivision lies east of Rochester Road and south of Tienken, on land that abuts the present City Walk shopping plaza at the southeast corner of that intersection.  For the last half of the nineteenth century and the first part of the twentieth, this property was part of the Isaac and Jane Barwise farm. At its height, the Barwise farm was over 200 acres in area and was one of Avon Township's most productive.  Isaac Barwise was a native of England who came to the United States as a young man and settled in Avon in 1861. Ownership of the farm passed to his daughter, Eva, who was a well-known Rochester schoolteacher.

The Junction Land Company was doubtless named for the location of the subdivision. For many years, the Detroit United Railway had a station at the corner of Tienken and Rochester, called Lake Orion Junction. At this point, one branch of the streetcar line headed along Orion Road to Goodison, Lake Orion, Oxford and stops beyond on the Flint Division, while another branch followed Tienken Road to Stoney Creek, Washington, and Romeo. The subdivision's one and only street was aptly named Junction Boulevard, but this name was changed to Courtland in 1950 when the township renamed many of its streets at the recommendation of the county road commission.

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