The historic, impressive,beautiful downtown Linden
Union Block Building, before the fire!!
The Union Block on the evening of
May 18th, 2007.
THE DAY AFTER THE FIRE!
On the night of May 18, 2007, the 137 year-old historic, Union Block Building was destroyed by fire. The town was devastated and the face of Linden, Michigan was changed forever. It was Linden's most well-known landmark, and loved by all!! After the fire, building restoration experts agreed that the facade/front of the building could be saved and the building restored, but it would be costly. A decision was made to demolish the remains and it was sadly razed in July of 2007. A vacant lot now sits at the corner of Bridge & Broad Streets in downtown Linden, where the majestic red giant, once stood. We lost a valuable piece of history that night, that can never be replaced. Although, it is gone...it will NEVER be forgotten! Thanks for the memories, Union Block. We miss you!
(after weeks of investigations, the exact cause was not determined, fortunately NO lives were lost during this tragic event)
(This is the empty lot where the Union Block once stood. This picture was taken from the same spot (in front of City Hall) as the first picture at the top of this webpage. Note the street light at the corner, in BOTH pictures for a proper perspective.)
As many of you know, shortly after the Union Block fire in
May of 2007, Val Caruso....owner of Tea & Company in Holly, collected donations ($700) from various Holly merchants in a show of sympathy and compassion,
from "one small historic community to another"!
The letter that was with the check, stated that the money be used "in whatever way it will help our community heal and rebuild". With the recent "Welcome to Linden" structure being built, on the former Union Block site, the Linden Mills Historical Society is proud to announce that the money from the Holly merchants, will be used to obtain a historical marker commemorating the UNION BLOCK BUILDING! This plaque will be part of a group of other historical markers, that will be located near the welcome structure. We have been waiting for the right opportunity to utilize the money, and we feel this is a very appropriate way!
Once again, we would like to THANK Val Caruso and the merchants of Holly who gave so generously. Words can never express, what your support meant, during this terrible tragedy that took place in downtown Linden! It truly reflected what the human spirit is capable of, and we will always be touched and thankful for the Holly merchants act of kindnss and for Val, who spearheaded the donation drive.
With sincere gratitude to the following 27 Holly merchants:
BACK OF THE CLOSET
BALCONY ROW ANTIQUES
THE GIRLS OF ELEMENTS DAY SPA
HOLLY ANTIQUES ON MAIN
HOLLY ART & FRAMING
HOLLY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
HOLLY CROSSING B&B
PIGEON IN THE PARLOR
TEA & COMPANY
WATER TOWER ANTIQUES
NOVEMBER 2008 - FORMER UNION BLOCK PROPERTY SOLD!!
The suspense is over!! A press conference was held in downtown Linden on the former Union Block site, November 3rd, 2008, to formally announce the sale of the property. The new owners are Sarah Starrs-LaFontaine, Ryan La Fontaine, & Mike LaFontaine!! It was a joyous, festive occasion complete with the Linden marching band, residents, business owners, Linden Mills Historical Society members, City officials and other dignitaries, and of course, the proud new owners of the historic Linden land. (The LaFontaines have several car dealerships in the metro-Detroit area and ties to Linden.) It could take 2-5 years to develop the property and the LaFontaine's will be talking to the community to see what they would like to have on the corner of Bridge & Broad Streets, for the next 100+ years. (The new building would have to go before the Linden Historic District Commission for approval)
LINDEN FIRE DVD'S AVAILABLE
Carolyn Kaufman's Union Block Fire DVD's
(Linden's Darkest Hour)
are available for $15 each, from Barbara/David Kincaid
or at Snipper's Barber Shop, in Linden
This is a very dramatic video of photographs that were taken, on the night of the fire, by various local residents. These photos capture the essence and emotions of this tragic event that took Linden's beautiful & historic landmark building. The DVD intro has a wonderful downtown Linden video taken by Roger Kaufman, a few years prior to the fire. A splendid shot of the Union Block, in its glory, is in the video! The end of the DVD features many wonderful Linden photos of the past.
Proceeds from the sale of this DVD, will benefit the Society.
(Sadly, Carolyn Kaufman passed away in June of 2011, but our memories of her and the wonderful DVD that she made, will live forever)
YOU TUBE VIDEOS OF FIRE!!
(top photo by Ken Huisjen, from InfoMI.com) (Linden fire photo from WNEM TV5 website)