Burt Opera House / Wellington R. Burt
Posted by: S5280ft
N 43° 14.260 W 083° 54.227
17T E 264225 N 4791302
Quick Description: On the west side of Nichols Road about 0.1 miles north of Burt Road. Parking available.
Location: Michigan, United States
Date Posted: 7/23/2006 12:34:49 PM
Waymark Code: WMJ1M
BURT OPERA HOUSE
In 1888 this settlement was named in honor of Wellington R. Burt, the lumber tycoon who arranged for the Cincinnati, Saginaw and Mackinaw Railroad to run through this village. During his 1888 gubernatorial campaign, Burt donated one thousand dollars for the construction of a township building. Henry Youmans, also seeking an office, supplied the bricks. Ironically, neither man carried this township in the election that year. Local resident Sarah A. Miller gave the land with a deed stipulating that any structure built be used for "education, social and wholesome amusements, and meetings," and public gatherings dedicated to "free thought, free speech and good government." Townspeople contributed labor and additional funds for the erection of this hall, dedicated in 1891. The Burt Opera House has hosted vaudeville shows, weddings, local fairs, township meetings and elections.
WELLINGTON R. BURT
Wellington R. Burt (1831-1919) was a Saginaw businessman, civic leader and philanthropist. Born in New York State, he moved to a farm in Jackson County, Michigan. After two years in college, he traveled far and wide until returning to Michigan at the age of twenty-six and starting work in a lumber camp near St. Louis. In 1858 young Wellington became a lumber operator. In 1864 he built the sawmill community of Melbourne, seven miles north of Saginaw. Melbourne was destroyed by fire in 1876. A Democrat, Burt was elected to the state senate in 1892. He waged unsuccessful races for the governorship in 1888 and Congress in 1890. Involved in the lumber, salt, and mining industries, as well as railroads, foreign bonds and banking investments, Burt ranked among the wealthiest men in America by the early twentieth century.
Historical Name: Wellington R. Burt
This one took a bit of lucky searching. All we had to go on for directions was "Burt Road". We found Burt Road (which is only 34 miles long) and luckily saw a sign that directed us to the town of Burt. Where Burt Road jogs south at Nichols, I luckily jogged the wrong direction and my eagle eyed wife spotted the marker on Nichols Road, not Burt Road. An amazing bit of luck.
Parking nearby?: yes
Registered Site #: Local Site #406
Historical Date: Not listed
website: Not listed
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If the Marker is missing, but still listed here, you must provide a photo of you at the actual item historically honored. (This should be the waymark's "default" image). Indicate in your log that you took your photo at the Historical Location instead of the marker, because the marker was missing. Please also still include a bit about your visit to the site.