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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Our little bit of vicarious fame

I live and work in the Village of Milford and I'm the Webmaster for the Milford Historical Society. One of Milford's claims to some amount of fame is that the stage, motion picture and TV actress Mary Jackson was born and raised in Milford. She appeared in countless films and in stage productions, but is likely best remembered for her recurring role as one of the Baldwin sisters in the TV show Walton's Mountain. As many may recall, the Baldwin sisters were the keepers of "Papa's Receipt - moonshine whiskey that they served to visitors and partook of themselves "for medicinal purposes."

Anyway, Mary never forgot here roots in Milford and returned almost every year to re-establish contacts with childhood friends and to just unwind from the Hollywood scene by getting back to her small town America roots. She eventually bought back the childhood home that she grew up in and restored it. When she passed away in 2006 she willed the home to the Milford Historical Society, which is working to preserve the home and open it to the public several times a year for events or special occasions. You can read all about Mary and her love for Milford at the MHS Web site.

The Historical society is holding the Mary Jackson house open on December 1, with all ticket proceeds going to the fund that supports the house. The house will be decorated in Victorian Christmas style and there will be musicians playing period music while you get a guided tour of the house. For more information go to the MHS site and click on the picture of the house on the left hand side of the opening page.

While you're visiting the Web site, check out the rest of the information about Milford's history and the Milford Historical Society. Milford's history also includes being a part of Henry Ford's Village Industries program and the MHS has worked to preserve the last vestige of that program in the Village - the Pettibone Creek Powerhouse, which was built to generate power for a Ford Motor Company carburetor plant in Milford. The powerhouse has been restored and is also open to the public on special occasions and during major events in the Village. Plans are underway to try to restore the ability to generate power from the water flowing through the Lower Mill Pond that the powerhouse is located upon.

Every little town and village across America likely has some history that would be interesting to share, The Milford Historical Society has made it it's mission to try to collect, preserve and share the history of Milford, Michigan. In addition to the Mary Jackson house and the Pettibone Creek Powerhouse, the MHS runs the Milford Historical Society Museum in downtown Milford, at the corner of Commerce and Union Streets. For more on that and all of the programs of the MHS, go to our Web site.

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