A friend recently posted on Facebook that Oak Pointe was celebrating its 25th anniversary. That news made me feel old.
Oak Pointe is the country club, golf course and housing development at the corner of Brighton and Chilson roads in Genoa Township. The 25th-anniversary news made me feel old, because as a cub reporter for the Livingston County Press in the mid-1980s, I covered Genoa Township Board meetings back when they were first talking about Oak Pointe. And now they’re celebrating their 25th anniversary. Yes, that makes me feel old.
The Oak Pointe story was a hugely controversial deal back then. That parcel of land was known back then as Burroughs Farms, and it was a summer retreat for employees of the Burroughs Corporation. There was a golf course, some cabins and a restaurant – and that was about it.
A group bought it from Burroughs, and they were looking to turn it into a huge development called Oak Pointe. A group of Genoa residents – led by a woman named Mary Beth Rollins, strongly opposed this, and they spent several years fighting it at the township level.
The Oak Pointe people finally won out, and I think we can all see that it’s been nothing but a great deal all the way around. Oak Pointe is wonderful.
And in addition to making me feel old, the 25th-anniversary news also made me realize this: I still call it Burroughs Farms.
And I’m guessing I’m not alone in that. There are probably a lot of old-timers that still call it Burroughs Farms.
Come to think of it, there are a LOT of things in Livingston County that I still call by their old names. So, seeing as how I love to make lists, here’s a list of the 10 Things in Livingston County I Still Call By Their Old Names:
1. McPherson Hospital
I believe the current name is the St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital, but it’ll always be McPherson Hospital to me. My wife does the same thing. A couple years ago, our daughter Amelia smashed her finger in a car door and I had to take her to the emergency room. I told my wife, “I’m taking her to McPherson,” and we both knew exactly what I meant.
2. The LCP and Argus
The Livingston County Press and Brighton Argus haven’t existed for the past 17 years. The weekly papers merged in 2000 and became the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, and the paper is now officially known as the Livingston Daily Press & Argus (they dropped the “County” a few years ago for reasons that aren’t clear). And even though the paper is a sad shell of its former self today, most old-timers still refer to the local rag as “the LCP” if they live in Howell, or “the Argus” if they live in Brighton. In fact, I don’t know a single person who calls it “The Livingston Daily Press & Argus.”
3. McPherson Middle School
It’s been the Howell High School Freshman Campus for years, but it’s still McPherson Middle School to me. (I apparently have a problem letting go of anything named “McPherson”).
4. Hilltop Ford
It’s Bob Maxey Ford now, and before that, it was Krug Ford. But the big Ford dealership in Howell will always be Hilltop Ford.
5. TW Friends
This makes no sense, and I can’t explain it. The restaurant just east of Howell is now Aubree’s, and it’s a wonderful place. But I can’t stop calling it TW Friends.
6. Pinckney Middle School
It’s not called Pinckney Middle School anymore, and it hasn’t been for ye ars. It’s called Navigator School. My daughter went there, and it’s a wonderful school. But I’m always going to call it Pinckney Middle School, and you can’t make me stop.
7. Pine Knob
Yes, yes, yes. I know. This one isn’t in Livingston County. But I’m putting it on my list anyway. It will never, ever, ever, ever, never be the DTE Energy Music Theatre.
8. The Pink Hotel
It hasn’t been pink since Reagan was president, and it hasn’t been a hotel since long before that. Still, the big brick office building near the railroad tracks in Brighton will forever be known as “The Pink.”
9. Cleary College
Cleary College changed its name to Cleary University a billion years ago, but I still have trouble getting that through my head.
10. Burroughs Farms
So, what do YOU still call by its old name? Leave a comment below.