The celebration of Taylor’s 175th anniversary should be an afternoon to remember, as the city is offering activities that will both honor the occasion and make it fun for all who attend.
The event, with Beaumont Health as its first sponsor, takes place from noon to 5 pm Aug. 6 in Heritage Park. Admission is free and open to everyone.
If you’re thinking there’s no way the city of Taylor could be 175 years old, you would be correct. It became a city in 1968, making it a relative youngster as a city.
However, Taylor was founded as a township on March 16, 1847 — thus the reason for celebrating its 175th anniversary.
Taylor grew tremendously since the early days of its establishment as a township. According to the last census, the city is the 17th largest community in Michigan.
With its history going back almost two centuries, members of the Taylor Historical Commission and Taylor Historical Society—partnering with city of Taylor officials—say it’s important to have a significant series of events to recognize the community’s history.
To that end, a special ceremony commemorating the 175th anniversary will take place at 12:30 pm at the gazebo in Heritage Park. Mayor Tim Woolley, a Beaumont official and other dignitaries will address the crowd, and an anniversary cake will be served.
Special events are scheduled throughout the year to recognize the 175th anniversary of the founding of Taylor, culminating with the community-wide day on Aug. 6 at Heritage Park, known as the “jewel of the city.” The park is located at 12111 Pardee Road.
Most of the festivities will take place in the park’s historic village surrounding Coan Lake, or in the parking lot in front of the Sheridan Center Open-Air Pavilion. Volunteers are welcome.
Here is a partial list of attractions:
Taylor Schools forward and upward
Stop by the Taylor School District attempt to talk with members of the district to learn where the school system is now and where the schools are headed. District officials said they’re excited about the approved bond that will fund a new high school and improve other areas of the district; expanding programming to give students the tools they need to succeed; and being the first district in Wayne County with the SmartBoot lockdown system. For more information, visit Taylorschools.net.
Remember with the Taylor Schools alumni
The Taylor Alumni Association will have memorabilia from all three former high schools (Taylor Center, John F. Kennedy and Harry S Truman) and also from the current Taylor High School. Look for storyboards from former and current junior high and elementary schools, too.
The Floral City Harmonizers will perform at 1 pm in the gazebo next to Coan Lake. The group of a capella chorus singers from Monroe sing four-part harmony barbershop style. They have been entertaining for more than 50 years. The Silver Strings Dulcimer Society will perform at 3 pm The talented musicians play a variety of acoustic instruments and hammered dulcimers. DJ Chris of Taylor will lend his talent and skills to the day’s festivities.
Learn about trains
TJ Gaffney from Streamline Historic Services will talk about the renovations that are happening to the two train cars located in Heritage Park. He will be on hand from noon to 2 pm, sharing his knowledge about the trains and his love of the railroad industry.
Classic car show
Decades ago, many people moved to Taylor Township for jobs in the expanding Detroit auto industry.
To tie in with township/city history, classic car owners are invited to participate in a car show from noon to 5 pm, in the parking lot in front of the Sheridan Center Open-Air Pavilion. Enter the Heritage Park campus at the Pardee Road entrance and check in. Admission is free.
Classic car show enthusiast and artist Shaggy LeBlanc of Taylor is
organizing the show and creating trophies to award to the winners. Follow Shaggy on Facebook for more details. Park visitors are encouraged to stroll over and get a close-up look of the selection of classic cars.
Free admission to the Petting Farm
The Heritage Park Petting Farm turns 20 years old on Aug. 3. To celebrate the anniversary, admission to the Petting Farm will be free for residents from noon to 5 pm on Aug. 6. The farm is located on the northeast corner of Pardee and North Line roads.
To take advantage of the free admission, visitors are asked to enter the farm from Heritage Park. The Petting Farm was created to pay homage to Taylor’s rich farming history and has grown to a year-round tourist attraction that welcomes more than 20,000 visitors annually.
Discount admission to splash pad
Children and families can visit the splash pad at Heritage Park and enjoy a special discounted rate of $1.75 per person to commemorate the 175th anniversary of Taylor.
Check out the Taylor Library
The Taylor Community Library is showcasing some of its history at the 175th anniversary celebration of Taylor. The library has provided books for avid Taylor readers for more than 100 years.
At the celebration, the library will host a table showing some important vintage moments and will provide activities the whole family can enjoy, such as crafts. History will be highlighted inside the library as well. The library staff invites everyone to visit the library this summer and make connections, past and present.
In the Township Tent
A number of special attractions will be under the Township Tent during the five hours of Aug. 6. Taylor City Clerk Cindy Bower will feature storyboards and artifacts from the community. She will also register voters for the upcoming November election. There will be a quilt raffle for two vintage handmade quilts, donated by a longtime resident to the Historical Society.
Visit Taylor’s historic buildings in the park
The historical buildings located near the Coan Lake portion of Heritage Park will be open the day of the 175th anniversary celebration. A sports memorabilia display is now set up at the Knope Farmhouse, which is home to the Taylor Historical Museum. There is a new display in the Town Hall, home of the gift shop, featuring historical Taylor items.
Free marigold seeds from the Garden Club
The Taylor Garden Club members will distribute marigold seeds, along with a flyer explaining that the marigold is the official flower of the city of Taylor. Club members will be available outside the historic log cabin in Heritage Park to answer gardening questions about the club’s native plant garden located in the park and why it is important to “go native in Michigan.”
Community Garden in bloom
The Taylor Community Garden in Heritage Park will be in full bloom and visitors will be encouraged to tour the garden and learn about the plants and vegetables that grow there.
Legacy art project
Members of the community are invited to the Cascardo Art Action Experience, which is a mural that will hang in a place of prominence in Taylor. Attendees will be invited to share their artistic talents by helping to complete the art piece. The city plans to release more details at a later date.
Taylor businesses have donated gift cards that will be available in a free raffle for anyone stopping by the Cemetery Tent in the Coan Lake Historic Village. Business owners can still donate a gift card, gift certificate or another prize by sending an email to [email protected]
food and drinks
Refreshments, food and drinks will be available for purchase from Norman’s Catering and Maggie’s Sweet Shoppe. Free water will be available, thanks to donations by Walmart and Total Community Credit Union.
In case of rain
If inclement weather hits Heritage Park on Aug. 6, activities will move to the Sheridan Center Open-Air Pavilion. Plans call for the historic buildings in the park to be open rain or shine.
At noon on Sunday, Aug. 7, Taylor residents and visitors are invited to experience at no cost a guided tour through Goldenridge Cemetery — Taylor’s oldest cemetery, established in 1840. Local history enthusiasts will share historical facts and stories of Taylor’s earliest settlers, including the names Coan, Lange, Henry McDonald (Gettysburg), Putzig, Schonscheck, Sutliffs, Wackrow and others.
things to do
There will be many more family-friendly activities at the 175th Anniversary Celebration, in addition to those listed here. Visit the Town Hall Tent to pick up a list of more than 60 “things to do” that day. Follow the Taylor Michigan Historical Society site on Facebook, visit the Historical Society website at http://taylormichiganhistoricalsociety.org or send email [email protected] Watch for preview photos and a follow-up photo gallery on the Facebook page Heritage Park Photo of the Day.