Jesse Decker / Decker Settlement


Jesse Decker / Decker Settlement photo of Jesse Decker / Decker Settlement
Jesse Decker came to Michigan from upstate New York with his wife Mary, in 1825. They homesteaded in the place that soon became known as the Decker Settlement. In 1830, Jesse Decker raised the first frame barn in the area with the help of local Indians. Five years later a group of settlers gathered in Decker's home and formed a township, naming it "Orion" at their hostís suggestion. The group elected Decker as the township's first supervisor. He served in that capacity almost continuously until 1854. Politically active throughout his life, Decker was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 1837 and also served as postmaster and justice of the peace. By 1840 he operated one of the first taverns in Orion Township and owned 440 acres of land.
 
 
a photo of Jesse Decker / Decker Settlement Side 2
The remnants of a millpond dam and the pioneer graves in Nearby Bigler Cemetery are the only evidence of the settlement that once occupied this site. Samueal Munson built a sawmill and a log cabin here in the spring of 1825. Jesse Decker, who gave his name to the settlement arrived later that year with more settlers and established the first Euro-American community in Orion Township. By 1837, Decker had grown into a bustling commercial center with a sawmill, tavern, post office, blacksmith shop, school and cemetery. After the post office moved to Lake Orion in 1837 and the railroad later passed the community by, Decker eventually died out. The state park opened in 1946, and park management live in the last surviving building until it was demolished in 1982.

Registered Site L2064
Erected 2001

Location: 1330 E. Greenshield, west of Kern
Lake Orion, Oakland County

Topics:
Early Settlers


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