HISTORY INDEX>Hillsdale City

Historical images of Hillsdale
The Point [Click here to view full size picture]

This view from the roof of City Hall depicts
one of the many gala celebrations held on
the main streets of Hillsdale during
the roaring twenties

Before the advent of two-way radio in patrol
cars, there was a light mounted atop the City hall,
The light if lit alerted the officer on patrol, to
respond to the office for a call.

City Hall [Click here to view full size picture]
Though the decision to build City Hall was debated for seven years, the corner stone was finally laid in 1911 after a bond issue of $50,000 was finally passed.
The building was constructed as a pentagon to accommodate its central location at the triangular intersection of Broad and Howell Streets and Carleton Rd. The building is three stories high with a central rotunda lobby and has offices for the Mayor, the Treasurer, the Clerk, City Manager, City Police and Council Chambers. At first the fire department was also housed here-but with remodeling, that department now has its own structure.
This building is listed on the National and State Register of Historic Sites
Broad Street [Click here to view full size picture]
Broad Street looking north on a very quiet day
Hillsdale County Court House [Click here to view full size picture]
The present Hillsdale County Court House is the third building to be used as a County Court House. The first was a wooden structure built by John P. Cook and Chauncey Ferris. Replacing this was a new Court House, nicknamed “The Old Stone Pile” Still later, after a good deal of debate, a new structure, designed in classical style, was built and dedicated in 1899. For twelve years the tower stood empty. Finally,it was suggested by Charles Koon, a former resident, that a fund be started to purchase a Court House clock. Because of the strong community interest, William Mitchell, son of Charles Mitchell, was motivated to give a Seth Thomas Clock and a set of Meneely bells (replicas of those in Westminster Abby in London)for use in the Court House. This building is listed on the Register of National and State Historic Sites.
Hillsdale Passenger House [Click here to view full size picture]
Through the foresight and efforts of John P. Cook, Chauncey Ferris, Henry Waldron, and Charles Mitchell when they undertook the financing and surveying a rail line running from Adrian to Hillsdale, the city grew and prospered. The first Michigan and Southern train arrived in Hillsdale in 1843. Eventually a brick depot and a freight office were built on the north side of the tracks on Monroe St. In the heyday of train travel 22-24 trains a day traveled through Hillsdale. The last passenger train ran through Hillsdale in 1956
Click here to view full size picture
In 1839, the Hillsdale Post Office was a crude upright desk in John P. Cook’s log home on the present Fairgrounds. Later the post office was located on the east corner of Hillsdale St. and Carleton Rd. The beautiful federally-styled post office with its neat white cupola was built in 1912.
Mitchell  Library [Click here to view full size picture]
The brick home of Charles Mitchell was given as gift to the City of Hillsdale to be used as a public library. Dedicated in 1908, the main floor housed the primary book collection. At the rear of the main floor was the reading room for men. The second floor was an auditorium used by clubs and for recitals. The third floor held a kitchen and a loft for dances.
Historic Hillsdale Buildings
The Old Stone Pile [Click here to view full size picture]
Salvation Army Rally Day [Click here to view full size picture]
Smith Hotel [Click here to view full size picture]
Stocks Mill  artist rendering [Click here to view full size picture]
Kinyon's Livery Stable [Click here to view full size picture]
The Kinyon Livery Stable, at the corner of Hillsdale and Railroad Street (now Carleton Road) was owned by Daniel Kinyon, son-in-law of Capt. John Frisbie.  Frisbie had served as U.S. Consul to Brazil, and later in that same capacity to France. He built the stately brick home on Reading Ave., which remains today. 
 Keefer House Hotel [Click here to view full size picture]
The Keefer House Hotel located on the corner of Howell and North Streets, built by Charles E .Keefer, a cousin of Robert Keefer, on the site of the old Hillsdale House which was destroyed by fire. The three-story brick structure had 54 “commodious” rooms, a dining room, two saloons and a gambling room. Rooms were heated by a stove. A wash bowl and pitcher were the only bathing facilities. In the early days since there were no funeral parlors or a hospital in Hillsdale, the Keefer house sometimes served as both.
First State Savings Bank [Click here to view full size picture]
The Hillsdale State Savings Bank originated with the organization of a bank by three of its earliest citizens, John P. Cook, Henry Waldron, and Charles T. Mitchell. Cook then formed his own bank in 1874, known as Hillsdale Savings Bank. The bank merged with the First State Savings Bank , which had been founded in 1903 by F.A. Rothlisberger and the name was changed to Hillsdale State Savings Bank and was located on the corner of McCollum and Howell
Booster Parade [Click here to view full size picture]
Fire wagon-HFD [Click here to view full size picture]
Hillsdale 1940 [Click here to view full size picture]
Keefer Hotel lobby [Click here to view full size picture]
Keefer Hotel lobby
Hillsdale Daily News
The first published newspaper in the immediate area is believed to be the Hillsdale County Gazette published in Jonesville beginning in 1839. In 1846 the first newspaper to consistently publish the news was founded by S.D. Clark and H.B. Rowlson and was known as the Hillsdale Whig Standard. The paper became merely the Hillsdale Standard in 1894. This paper was then the forerunner of the Hillsdale Daily News which since 1928 has occupied the site on the corner of McCollum and Manning St.
Sutton Block [Click here to view full size picture]
The Sutton Block was torn down to build the Sears Store.  It is now the location of Hillsdale County National Bank.  Note the Galloway Law Office in the background, on the left.

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