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Owosso - Downtown River View & History

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Uploaded on Dec 12, 2008

In this video you are looking north from downtown off the Main Street Bridge in Owosso, Michigan. The river is the Shiawassee River - one of the few rivers in the Northern Hemisphere that flows north. In the upper left is Curwood Castle, which was built during 1922 and 1923 by Owosso native and world-renowned author, James Oliver Curwood. The great room of the castle was used by Curwood to entertain guests, and the castle's largest turret served as Curwood's writing studio. Curwood was a best-selling author of thirty-three novels, and the first author to make a million dollars from movies. More than 190 movies, short films and TV shows have been made of Curwood's books and stories, including "The Bear." Curwood Castle is now a museum that contains period antiques, and Curwood books, photos, and movie posters. It also exhibits memorabilia from the life of another one of Owosso's great native sons, Thomas E. Dewey.

Owosso's Thomas E. Dewey, of course, was the famous lawyer, author, mob-busting District Attorney of New York City, three term Governor of New York State, and the Republican presidential nominee in 1944 and 1948. He is revered for running one of the most remarkably honest and effective state government administrations in history. He also passed America's first state law that banned discrimination in hiring.

Just south of Curwood Castle is Comstock Cabin. It is Owosso's first permanent dwelling, which was built in 1836 by Judge Elias Comstock. Comstock Cabin also now serves as a museum that holds period antiques.

On the south side of the Shiawassee River Walking and Bicycle Bridge is the Shiawassee Arts Council Gallery. (The white building on the left side of the screen.) The gallery exhibits two original oil masterpieces, and one original colored pencil masterpiece, by Owosso native Frederick Carl Frieseke - a man who, during his lifetime, became America's best known painter internationally and is today regarded as one of history's greatest artists. The gallery also exhibits and sells prints, original works of dozens of other artists, holds art classes, competitions, and has exhibitions scheduled throughout the year. The grounds surrounding the Gallery include the sculpture "Renewal" by Louis Marinaro.

One block to the west is the Shiawassee District Library Owosso, a Carnegie Library which contains another masterpiece, this one by another Owosso native and world-renown artist, Alice R. Fisher. The library also displays a magnificent bust of Owosso native, congressman and senator Charles A. Towne - "The Cicero of the Senate" and the only person to have served in the U. S. Congress from two different states.

The large brown brick building across the river is the old Owosso Armory - the second armory to have been built in Owosso. Since the 1860s, thousands of servicemen and women from Owosso have met the call and contributed greatly to defend America. Over the years, the Owosso Armory has also served as an entertainment venue and hosted many nationally-prominent swing and rock 'n roll bands.

Behind the Owosso Armory is the Owosso Middle School, which originally served as Owosso High School - a school that has educated nearly one hundred people from Owosso whose lives have made national and/or international impact - including a Nobel Prize winner, a Peabody Award winner, an Emmy Award winner, a Maxwell Award winner, a dozen world-renowned scientists, five university presidents, three generals, two admirals, famous athletes, radio and TV stars in the U. S. and Europe, famous ministers and a famous Rabbi, the originator of the homecoming tradition that spread to nearly all colleges and high schools throughout the United States, etc. Plus Owosso has two governors, a Medal of Honor winner, a Pulitzer Prize winner, the first woman to obtain a commercial chauffeur's license, a Miss Michigan, the designer of the Jefferson Nickel, a Playmate of the Month, a rock star, an American who was Germany's "Woman of the Year," famous journalists and a cartoonist, over thirty-five best selling, award-winning and/or classic authors, several captains of industry, etc. All of this and much more from a small city of slightly over 14,000 citizens that is nearly surrounded by agriculture.

Along the banks of the river behind the Owosso Middle School is the Mitchell Amphitheater, which hosts concerts throughout each summer.

There is something very special about Owosso, Michigan.

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