Lapeer County Historical Society
Lapeer, Michigan 48446
Month by Month Breakdown
January: The pop-up camper was invented in 1955 by Gene Vesely. Gene’s neighbor put his dog’s old license on the back of the prototype and thus it was dubbed “Apache.” By 1957, he was mass producing Apache campers in his factory. Two years later, Apache was the number one camping trailer in the world.
February: Alonzo Bostick was born in Hadley, Michigan. Around 1882, he moved the family to Millington, where he and his son Austin opened Bostick and Son Blacksmith shop. The shop grew into a factory where they produced farm implements and sleighs, and they began casting metal stoves. When they moved to Lapeer in 1901, they renamed the business Bostick Stove Works, and on August 28, 1901 their Grand Opening celebration became the first Lapeer Days Celebration. In 1932, the Stove Works was renamed Bostick Foundry.
March: Dr Rood worked on quantum theory in the 1920s at the University of Michigan. She received her medical homeopathy degree in New York, and was invited to join a practice in Chicago. She chose to return to her home town, Lapeer, Michigan. Dr Rood saw patients in her living room beginning at 11 a.m. and continued until everyone was treated at 1 a.m. or later. She kept issues of Scientific American magazine in her waiting room, and quizzed her patients on the articles.
April: Sidney B Winn was a prolific inventor who designed and manufactured innovative automotive parts. When he retired in the late 1940s, he held 57 US patents related to trailers, tractor trailers, trailer jacks, draw bars, fifth wheels, and trailer couplers.
May: When Walter Clark and Henry George opened Champion Homes in Dryden in 1953, they were manufacturing two homes per week. Since then they’ve manufactured more than 1.7 million homes at 28 facilities across North America. In 2018, Champion Enterprises joined with Skyline Corporation and is now traded on the New York Stock Exchange as SKY.
June: Joseph Wakaresku immigrated from Beba, Romania in 1905. In 1935, he leased a 45 acre vineyard from Horace Davis and began producing wine. The Winery put out three labels (pictured), and produced 12 varieties: Rhein, Sauterne, Burgundy, Claret, Chianti, Port, Tokay, White Port, Sherry, Muscatel, Elderberry, and Apple. By 1937, he was producing 50,000 gallons. The Winery shut down in 1947. July: In 1959, Cornelius Ray purchased a small boat manufacturer in Metamora called Carr Craft and from it created Sea Ray Boats. They were one of the earliest companies to build with fiberglass. Sea Ray began with a 16 ft family runabout. They’re now owned by the Brunswick Boat Group, the largest manufacturer of pleasure boats in the world.
August: George Owen Squier was born March 21, 1865 in Dryden, Michigan. In 1883, he won a competitive appointment to the United States Military Academy. In 1893, he completed his Ph.D in electrical engineering at Johns Hopkins University. (Clark, Paul W., and Laurence A. Lyons. George Owen Squier: U.S. Army Major General, Inventor, Aviation Pioneer, Founder of Muzak. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2014) Biography on sale at the Lapeer Heritage Museum.
September: With 700 patents, Lloyd Copeman is Lapeer County’s most prolific inventor. Born in the village of Farmers Creek in 1881, he studied engineering at Michigan Agricultural College, now Michigan State University.
October: (see image file: 10 B secondary art.pdf)
November: In 1846, Fred Currier left Vermont behind and settled in rural Michigan. He built an octagon house that still stands in Almont, the village he helped establish. In 1851, Fred bought a foundry where he manufactured plows, threshers, gears, and engines. In 1869, he sold the foundry to his son Henry. Read more about the Curriers in An Octagon for the Curriers by Melanie Meyers and Frank Angelo.
December part 1: The Jordan Horse was unique in its design and use. In one application it was one of several horses on a carousel.
December part 2: Configured differently, it was an individual toy on wheels that propelled forward as a child bounced on it. Because of that aspect, the Jordan Horse was used for children in physical rehabilitation.