Holly: An 1800s Michigan Town With a Christmas Name
Another Michigan town that has a Christmas-y name is Holly, located in Oakland County.
In 1830, the first person that is recorded as the first Holly settler was Nathan Herrick. Thirteen years later, two mills popped up - a sawmill and grist mill - thanks to C. Alger.
In the 1850s Peter Fagan founded a post office which began operating as “Holly Mills P.O.”. When the Detroit & Milwaukee Railroad forged through, that was enough to name the community “Algerville” after Mr. Alger, who brought income into the town with his mills.
Later in 1855, the town was finally platted --- and six years later, in 1861, the town was finally named “Holly”. Why was it named 'Holly'? After some businessman or politician? Depending on what story you believe, it was not named after any person.
Did the holly plant grow there? Yes, it did, and still does. Did one of the townspeople come from a place called 'Holly'? Yes. An 1835 settler named Jonathan Allen moved to the area from Mount Holly, New Jersey. So which is it? It could be either.
Holly was finally incorporated as a village in 1865.
In 1908, Holly made history – unintentionally – when Carrie Nation came to town with her trusty hatchet and smashed up the Holly Hotel saloon. You can read that story HERE.
Today, Holly retains its history, especially with the vintage shops down 'Battle Alley'. Take a look at some “then-and-now” photos below!
HOLLY, MICHIGAN, THEN-AND-NOW