Dryden Community Country Club, photo c. 1986
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Dryden Community Country Club - General Squier Historic Park Complex
4725 South Mill Road, Dryden - Lapeer County
Other Names General George Squier Club
General Squier County Park
Property Type frame buildings
park
Historic Use LANDSCAPE/park
Current Use LANDSCAPE/park
Style Other
Significant Person General George Squier
Narrative Description The General Squier Historic Park Complex is an eighty acre park complex with gently rolling topography, a mill pond, and both forested and grassy areas. The park includes eight buildings and four structures. The Mill (1871) is a three-story, rough-hewn, timber-framed and clapboard-sided building detailed with half-timbering. Forest Hall (1917) is a large, single-story, wood-framed and clapboard-sheathed building with low, hipped roof and a porch that wraps around two facades. The Tower (1920) is a square, two-story, wood-framed and clapboard-sided structure with an open second floor. The cottage, built in 1917 and moved in 1931, is a low, gable-roofed bungalow framed in wood and sided in clapboard. The Teahouse, built in 1920 and recently relocated, is a small wood structure with open sides and a low gable roof. The Cottage's Privy, Forest Hall's Pump House, and the Drinking Fountain also contribute to the historic layout and architecture of the complex.
Statement of Significance The General Squier Historic Park Complex served as the summer home of George Owen Squier, a Dryden native with a brilliant military career in the United States Army and reflects the development of Lapeer County's first and only privately owned park opened as a free recreational facility to the public. Gen. Squier began his career by attending West Point Military Academy from 1883 to 1887. He went on to receive a doctorate in physics from Johns Hopkins University in 1903 and serve in various high-ranking positions in the U.S. Signal Corp and as a diplomat. Squier was recognized as a scientist and inventor in the area of electronic communications. His development of the Multiplex Telegraph System as well as his work in radio-guided ballistics, airborne radiotelephone communications, and submarine cable and high-speed telegraphic devices brought him acclaim within the scientific community. After retiring from the military in 1923, Squier returned to his hometown of Dryden and developed, as part of his summer home site, a free "Country Club for Country People." The park, re-named in his honor after his death in 1934, continues to be open to the public free-of-charge for recreational purposes.
Marker Name General Squier Park
Marker Text GENERAL SQUIER PARK Major General George Owen Squier (1865-1934) was a noted soldier and scientist. Graduating from West Point in 1887, he subsequently led the United States Signal Corps. He was also Chief of the Army Air Service during World War I and military attache in London during the postwar period. Working in the capacity of science, he discovered the multiplex telegraph system which made him world renowned. The General held membership in the National Academy of Sciences, London Physical Society, and the Royal Institute of Great Britain. Although he was denied royalties because of his army affiliations, Squier continued to contribute to the world of invention and discovery. He perfected much of his work at his country estate, which he opened as this free public park for the people of the community. SIDE TWO General Squier held a great love for his community and showed this by establishing a country club in 1918 for the people of the entire area. The club was originally known as the "Golden Rule Club" for the general's only rule was that visitors should leave the grounds and equipment as they found them. In 1918, Squier purchased the old mill, built in 1871, and converted it into a cottage. In 1919 a building known as Forest Hall was constructed and served as the main meeting, dance, and banquet area of the park. Other structures include a variety of rustic shelters, tea-houses, and a look-out tower. The general spent many hours of creative work in the tower as well as offering its use to the public. Lapeer County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Commission, now administers this quaint little country club.
Period of Significance 1901-1930
Significant Date(s) Built 1870-1918
Registry Type(s) 08/30/1978 Marker erected
06/05/1986 National Register listed
06/06/1977 State Register listed
Site ID# P23834