Orchard Lake Schools


Orchard Lake Schools photo of Orchard Lake Schools
Orchard Lake Schools Historic District comprises eleven buildings constructed between 1858 and 1924. The oldest, a massive Romanesque Revival house resembling a Norman Castle, was built in 1858 by one-time Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joseph Tarr Copeland. In 1877 Copeland sold the property to Joseph Summer Rodgers, who established the Michigan Military Academy on the site. Six of nine structures built in a quadrangle reflect the Romanesque Revival style. In 1909 the school once considered "the leading military institution in the country, outside of West Point." closed. The site was sold to Saint Cyril and Methodius Seminary, the nation's first Polish seminary. Father Joseph Dabrowski founded the seminary in 1885 in Detroit. The present complex, evolved from the seminary, includes Saint Mary's Preparatory School and Saint Mary's College.
 
 
a photo of Orchard Lake Schools Joseph Tarr Copeland
Maine native Joseph Tarr Copeland (1813 - 1893) graduated from Harvard College and studied law before coming to Michigan during the 1840s. In 1851 he was elected circuit court judge serving concurrently on the Michigan Supreme Court. Upon his retirement in 1858, he built this house. At the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 he was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the First Michigan Calvary. Within a year he rose to brigadier general. Copeland retired to his home in 1865. With a group of Pontiac investors Copeland enlarged his house, creating the Orchard Lake Hotel. From this site tourists boarded the Pride of the Lake and traveled to Apple Island. The panic of 1873 ruined the venture. Copeland sold the property in 1877 to Colonel Joseph Summer Rodgers who established the Michigan Military Academy on this site.

Registered Site S0430
Erected 1995

Location: St. Marys School grounds next to castle
Orchard Lake, Oakland County

Topics:
Schools


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