Utica, Michigan Was Once Called Hog’s Hallow
The town of Utica is small but has a lot of history to it. Growing up next to it in Rochester Hills, it was always a fun area that, even though set up in the suburbs, always kind of had, and still has, a small-town feel to it.
But while attempting to learn more about it, I discovered something about it I had never known before:
It used to have a goofy-ass name...Hog's Hallow.
Why on earth would anyone ever call this area that name? The history of the area may peer into the reasoning:
In May 1817, Nathanial Squire, a revolutionary war veteran and reputedly the first resident of Utica, Michigan moved west along the Clinton River from near Mt. Clemens, until he came to a high point of ground where the river and two [native] trails crossed. The rapidly growing settlement was variously called McDougalville, Hog Hollow, and Harlow.
Shelby Township To The Rescue
The Township of Shelby actually had the info on this which blew me away. I knew it most likely had something to do with there being a lot of hogs in the area at some point, and my intuition was correct:
Wild boar roamed southern Michigan in the early 1800s, and one such creature had the misfortune to encounter a hungry band of hunters. After killing their bounty, the men found a sheltered spot, built a fire, and cooked a fine dinner. They commemorated the occasion by naming their location "Hogs Hollow".
They honestly should have stayed with it because they ended up renaming the town MacDougalville after a guy who showed up rocking the fiddle, made a bunch of promises to get more people to move to Hog's Hallow, and then never came back. Maybe he was eaten by a hog...