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Your Royal Oak Stories

We're looking for longtime residents to help tell the story of Royal Oak. 

Do you have a favorite Royal Oak tradition, place or person you would like to share with us?

Share your memories here.

Jul 12

Roylal Oak, Born and Raised

Posted on July 12, 2021 at 9:36 AM by Judy Davids

Kurt Peterson grew up in the north part of Royal Oak near Clawson and Troy and has many warm, fond memories of Royal Oak. He attended Churchill and Kimball and recalls taking the family Oldsmobile, with torpedo lights, to visit Dr. Wake in Downtown Royal Oak. The good doctor had a 200-gallon aquarium and passed out candy.

Interested in making home movies, Kurt was a fan of the former Dunns Camera (319 S Washington) and also frequented the former Dobie Jewelers (500 S Washington)  for watches and clocks.

Kurt sent the following photos/text:

Having been born and raised in this Town of Royal Oak, I am attaching a few photos of Royal Oak memories, mainly having to do with (historical) Royal Oak edifices or facilities and structures:

Kurt Peterson 1 My biological family and me during my Royal Oak Kimball High School graduation.

Kurt Peterson 2Me at home, in my family's Royal Oak backyard near 14 Mile and Campbell Roads.

Kurt Peterson 3 Me in my bedroom at same RO home, when I came home from the War.

Kurt Peterson 5

With a couple of old buddies I met through ROSES at RO Senior Center on Marias.

I couldn't pick just one photo, so I'm e-mailing you at least a couple for the Royal Oak time capsule project.

 - Kurt Petersen, Lifetime Royal Oak Resident
Jun 22

Hot Time in the City

Posted on June 22, 2021 at 1:00 PM by Judy Davids

This was kick-off ad for summer in the city Wednesdays in Royal Oak.

Continue Reading...

Apr 12

The History of the Royal Oak Post Office

Posted on April 12, 2021 at 1:08 PM by Judy Davids

Post Office circa 1936
Above:  Photo from the Royal Oak Tribune dated August 31, 1936.

James Lockwood, the first postmaster serving the territory now known as Royal Oak, was appointed by John Quincy Adams on April 6, 1825. The rest as they say is history.

Lockwood lived in a log cabin on the site of the present Washington Square Plaza building.

From 1831 to 1841, the post office was moved to Chase's Corners at 13 Mile and Woodward, which was the center of the community in the pioneer days of Royal Oak Township.

With the coming of the railroad in 1838, the center of activity shifted again and the Postmaster Moses Johnson conducted the post office from his store at the northeast corner of Main Street and University. During the Civil War the post office was in a general store at Fifth and the railroad. This building was later moved to Main and First (now Main Street) and used as a milk house by William Hilzinger.

A little later, stagecoaches carried mail and passengers three times a week over a plank road from Royal Oak to Rochester. After a time, George Hickey began carrying mail three times a week on the Niles Road from Royal Oak to Troy Corners (Big Beaver and Rochester). Some people made hinged boxes for mail and nailed them to a fence and hired Hickey to bring their mail. This antedated Rural Free Delivery by forty years or more.

The post office was usually the center of attraction and men gathered at dusk after a game of horseshoes to tell tales and talk over the questions of local and national importance.

- Compiled by John A. Kuzemba, Royal Oak clerk, August 8, 2013

Read the complete history of the Royal Oak Post office.