Remember When …

This skating rink was in the City of Flint, possibly from the 1940s. Photo provided

This skating rink was in the City of Flint, possibly from the 1940s. Photo provided

We know winter has arrived in Genesee County. It was so cold this past weekend. Now with more snow we can go skiing or sledding as there are lots of hills throughout the county.

Has anyone found a place to go ice skating in the area? We have five ice skating rinks around Genesee County, like The Crystal Fieldhouse or even downtown Flint at the University of Michigan-Flint, or some homemade ice-skating ponds in your backyard.

Some folks may like to stay inside so you can go roller skating if the cold is not fun for you. As I was cleaning out my parent’s home, I found their ice skates in an old suitcase. My dad and mom graduated from Hoover High School in 1949, so we heard the stories of ice skating every winter all over town.

My dad made us our own skating rink in our backyard. What great memories! There are 79 lakes in Genesee County and they’re mostly around the parks system and a lot around Fenton with 170 acres of parks throughout the city.

Just be sure, if you’re considering ice skating on a lake or pond, make sure the ice is thick enough before venturing out on its surface.



Fenton Township has a lot of history, especially around its lakes. It used to be the place the Native American tribes would go to hunt or for a rest. The several lakes in Fenton Township were very nice with businesses and great shorelines for brilliant sunsets year-round. The Village of Linden is in the middle of Fenton Township (part of Argentine Township also) and was first settled in 1835. Richard Lamb and Mr. Perry and Mrs. Mary Lamb. Mrs. Lamb was the first women there and travelers used to stay in their log cabin, she stayed there even after Perry passed away and she remarried Mr. Fisk.

Many families moved to Linden because of the freshwater lakes and rivers, abundance of fruit and good soil for the farmers. Mr. Warner even started up a sawmill in 1837 and grist mill in 1838. Linden was incorporated by 1871 as a village, (then by 1988 a city), with many churches, a fire department, 13 businesses and one schoolhouse by 1879 with 800 neighbors.

Have you heard of Mount Pleasant, settled by John Cook in 1840? The name changed to Long Lake and then to Lake Fenton, became official by 1932.

Fentonville was called Dibbleville (for 3 years) after one of the first settlers, Clark Dibble, in 1834 and was the central point for the Native American trails to meet. The name changed because Mr. Fenton and Mr. Leroy were playing cards in 1837 and the winner could name the village and the other one could name a street (the Leroy family has many street names now).

There were a lot of Native Americans living and farming in this area they help the new settlers with trading goods and learning how to grow crops on the land. The first schoolhouse was on the north corner were the U.S. Post office stands according to Col. William Fenton, who also became lieutenant governor of Michigan.

Remember, the free Michigan DNR fishing weekend is twice a year in 2021, Feb. 13-14 and June 12-13. No fishing license is required those days. Enjoy your time in Genesee County.

Remember When is a weekly column in the Burton View featuring historical stories about the community from the Burton Area Historical Society. If you have some Burton history to share, email