Admission is free thanks to the

Jennings Foundation!


Yearbook Wanted

Montrose School Yearbook for 2004 to complete our collection. We have all of the rest of them since the first one in 1947.
If anyone has a copy to donate you can drop it off at the museum. We even have some duplicates available for purchase.


Clips from the Past

1st hotel in Montrose.  Reed Hotel-1899

Reed Hotel-1899

The first hotel in Montrose was built in the township by William H. Reed in 1866, just one year after the Civil War ended. It was an ideal location on the east side of the well-traveled Saginaw and Flushing State Road, now Seymour Road, one-half mile north of Farrand at the curve. Less than a year later it was purchased by Thomas W. Pettee who remodeled it into a store and a home. It was sold 17 years later to William Nicholson and by 1899 it was the homestead of George C. and Jessie (Farquharson) McKenzie. See sleigh picture below. For many years, this structure was among the oldest still standing in the township until it was destroyed by fire on January 29, 2019.

first hotel in the village
Montrose Hotel-1899

Montrose Hotel-1899

The first hotel in the village was the Montrose Hotel built by Alfred V. Hiscock in 1889, located near the newly opened Cincinnati, Saginaw and Mackinaw Railroad on the southwest corner of Railroad and Maple Streets. Alfred and his wife Rose (Stage) Hiscock had previously operated a hotel in Elk which at one time had been a bustling community on the corner of present-day M-13 and M-57. The railroad going through Montrose in 1888 caused most of the Elk businesses to relocate to what was to become the village of Montrose. Hiscock’s Montrose Hotel had 15 rooms, a saloon and a livery. It was bought in 1899 by Eugene Wescott. In later years it became a residence until it was destroyed by fire in April, 1975.

Hotel Flynn;  Flynn's Inn-1899
1st brick building in Montrose

Hotel Flynn; Flynn’s Inn-1899

Finally, we come to the last hotel, originally called Hotel Flynn, located near the northeast corner of Saginaw and State Streets. This was the premier hotel, constructed of brick from local kilns. It was the first brick building in the village and was built by John W. Flynn. The wing on the left in this photo was originally built in 1894 as a residence for John, his wife, Maggie (Berry) Flynn and their family. In 1896, he decided to add on to his original building and opened his 25-room hotel in July, 1896. The following year he rented the building to H.D. Carmer. Over the years, it changed hands and names many times and housed different businesses. In 1925, George Arthur remodeled the building into a garage, gas station and Ford agency. Len Chase managed an oil station which was attached to the west of the building. On March 10, 1927, fire broke out at Chase’s and after an explosion the entire hotel building was consumed by flames. Only the carriage house, seen on the right in this photo, survived. It was renovated into a private residence in October, 1927 and is still standing at 113 E. State St. In 1928, a new gas station was built by Flushing Oil & Gas. Today this building is a used tire business at 105 E. State Street.

George C. and Jessie (Farquharson)
Sleigh ride

Sitting in the fancy sleigh are George C. and Jessie (Farquharson) McKenzie, both natives of Montrose Township who were the first generation of both families born in the United States. Their parents were from Scotland and England. George and Jessie were married in 1877 and had 3 children. George was known as “Fiddler George” as he was always ready to play for social events and livened up many a party. He was also “an interesting story teller reminiscing about the early history of the township and of the dealings between the Indians and the white settlers”.