Historic Lake Orion


The Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority announced in 2006 the approval of Lake Orion’s first National Register Historic District. Listing on the National Register of Historic Places can raise property value and add a new level of pride in one’s community.  Both commercial and residential property owners can benefit from tax credits based on property renovations or improvements made according to criteria established by the Department of the Interior.

In addition, renovation of commercial historic properties are eligible for federal tax credits, if criteria is met.  The project was a collaborative effort, the majority of which was funded by the Downtown Development Authority and Orion Township, with some additional money coming from the Orion Historical Society.

A Moment in Time

historic sign series by the lake orion historical society

Hanson’s Running Shop

Formerly Van Wagoner’s Drug Store, Faye’s Fabric, Mitchell’s Drug Store


In place of the building housing Faye’s Fabrics (formerly Van Wagoner’s Drug Store) was a wooden structure known as the Commercial Hotel.  The building in which Ramona’s Beauty Salon is presently located was the place of business of Isaiah Bradford, the first undertaker in Orion.  He arrived in Orion in 1840, and his residence still stands on the northwest corner of Jackson street and North Broadway.
Courtesy -Orion Since 1818
The first movie was brought to the Orion area by Jerry Bartholomew in 1913 to the Lincoln Theater, was the site of Lindner’s Colorland TV store and now Builders Custom Flooring.  According to Elmer Bartholomew, his son, many Westerns were shown at the Lincoln, with the William Tell Overture constituting background music for these early silent films.  The Lincoln was built by Albert Ostrum.
Mitchell’s Drug Store later became Van Wagoner’s at 3 South Broadway Street now Hansons Running Shop in Downtown Lake OrionChuck Mitchell later on had a pharmacy in downtown Oxford.

To See Lake Orion’s Historic District application:

Lake Orion Historic District Application