Linden — Linden turns 150 years old in 2021. A 150th birthday is called a sesquicentennial, and city volunteers are in the early stages of discussing a celebration.
But first, Pete Maas, president of the Linden Mills Historical Society, has to prove the city’s birthday was in 1871 to the Historical Society of Michigan (HSM).
It’s harder than Maas thought.
The HSM wanted to see an article printed in a newspaper at the time of the municipality’s inception. However, Linden didn’t have a newspaper in 1871. Maas found an article in the Linden Leader from 1957, which stated that Linden was incorporated in 1871, “just 36 years after the first settlers pioneered here from the East.”
The article wasn’t enough.
Maas submitted a diary excerpt from Seth Sadler, one of the first pioneers of Linden who came from Oakland County in 1851. He also submitted some documents containing the history of Genesee County with Linden’s information. Neither were enough.
“The biggest thing was we had to get the articles of incorporation,” he said, adding that these documents aren’t online anywhere. “We had to send to Lansing, to the archives of the Lansing library, to get that information. It’s not even in Genesee County anywhere.”
The articles of incorporation are dated March 2, 1871. If the HSM accepts the articles, Linden can apply for a Michigan Milestone Award Plaque. The HSM commemorates business organizations and municipalities with the Michigan Milestone Award Plaque for anniversaries of 50 years, 100 years and 150 years.
The money to buy the plaque would actually come from Holly.
After the 2007 fire that destroyed the Union Block property, Linden received a letter from a group of Holly merchants who donated money to the city. Mass said the Linden Mills Historical Society plans to use the money, just more $700, to purchase the plaque. Maas said he wants to give recognition to Holly and these businesses because, “We’re all little communities close together here.”
To celebrate Linden’s sesquicentennial, volunteers are discussing plans for a big event. Everything is in the early development stages.
“The 150th anniversary of the incorporation of Linden will be a huge celebration. One of the first things needed is a design of a logo for this event,” Maas said.
The contest is open to everyone — not just Linden students and residents. Guidelines state the logo should be a “unique representation of Linden… Be creative. Don’t limit yourself.”
Linden has many historical facts to draw inspiration from, and it must include “150th.” See application online at myfenton.com.
The winner will receive a $150 gift card. Submissions are due March 31. Entries can be addressed to “Happening in Linden” P.O. Box 565 Linden, MI 48451 or can be dropped at Linden City Hall.
Not many people are involved in the planning yet. However, Maas hopes more volunteers will join in the efforts.
“I love Linden and I love the area. I feel like they’ve done a lot for me over the years and now I feel it’s time to pay back. But it is much more than I could expect to do by myself,” he said. “I’ve talked with a small group of people who are on board with this. They all realize the importance of celebrating and having a celebration of this kind.”