Mio Community Devastated After Oscoda County Courthouse Fire
The historic courthouse had been standing since 1888.
Since then it has been a staple, rich with memories for those in Oscoda County.
9&10’s Cody Boyer spoke to people torn apart by its destruction.
The fire destroyed nearly 130 years of history.
People here say this building has stood as a symbol of Mio for many generations.
"It’s one of the first things that you notice when you come through the town." Says Jennifer Cronkright.
It’s white steeple tower has stood in downtown Mio since 1888.
Now it’s charred and broken…
"It’s devastating." Says longtime Mio resident Chris Webb.
Chris and Tania say the loss of the spire is a loss of local history.
"A historical event. The length of time it’s been here…" Says Mio resident, Tania Spahn.
"Just another landmark gone." Says Webb.
Sondra Houlton worked as county clerk more than 30 years ago.
"It’s just overwhelming sadness to old-timers." Says former county clerk, Sondra Houlton. "Definitely a landmark. It was one of the few wooden courthouses that had never burned."
She remembers learning her father’s real middle name in records kept there.
"All of my ancestors are in the records there and I think that’s all been saved." Says Houlton.
Jennifer Cronkright’s family history with the building goes back even farther.
"My great, great uncle John Randall was the first surveyor, pharmacist, doctor. He actually helped built this courthouse." Say Cronkright.
She has memories of her mother working more than 20 years there.
She says last night changed the town forever.
"After the fire was doused and a lot of the steam was rolling out and the flag out front was still flying." Says Cronkright. "It’s a terrible loss. It’s like losing a family member."
There is no word yet if the building can be saved at all.
Many hope it can be rebuilt as it once was.