Coan Lake Historical Area
One of the most pleasant spots in the City of Taylor resides within Heritage Park and offers totally free access to anyone interested in walking, jogging, fishing or just enjoying a beautiful view of some of the City’s most inviting land.
Coan Lake was constructed in the fall of 1988. The "pond" covers three acres, with a depth of 9 to 18 feet. Coan Lake is surrounded by walking paths, gardens, benches and historical buildings. The property the lake sits on was once known as the Schoncheck Farm, and the pond is stocked with a variety of fish, it provides an ideal setting for a historical village. Coan Lake is named after Peter Coan (co-ANN), the first registered land owner in Taylor Township.
In April 2016, Mayor Rick Sollars announced an aggressive program focusing efforts on improving Heritage Park, including the total renovation of the problematic Coan Lake seawall that has been an irritant to park goers for several years. Cross Lake Construction installed a new seawall at the 3-acre pond, at a cost of approximately $230,000, which was funded through a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the City’s buildings and grounds fund.
The seawall has been deteriorating for some time. Some problem areas has been removed over time, while other portions of the wall have lifted out of position and/or broken. Michigan’s horrible winter of 2013 to 2014 severely stressed the seawall, as did the severe summer storm in September 2014.
"We recognize that Heritage Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the entire region," Mayor Sollars said. "It is heavily used, not only for recreation purposes, but for literally anything you can think of during the warm weather months. Wedding and prom photos, fishing – you name it, Heritage Park-goers are interested in it. We know that we need to spend some time and give the park some TLC."
In addition to the seawall construction, the City focused on making repairs to the covered bridge and the deteriorating areas surrounding it, the white wooden fencing at the Petting Farm and the walking path itself.
In conjunction with Wayne County Community College District’s Downriver Campus, the waterwheel will eventually become active. At some point decorative lighting will be added to the waterwheel, similar to carnival wheels in other parts of the country (Seattle, Santa Monica), except on a smaller scale.
Through another partnership with WCCCD, the City and college plan to work jointly to connect the park’s walking/jogging/cycling paths to the college campus. This will likely connect the roadway that runs on the north side of the park to the back-end of the college campus. When it is finished, recreation lovers will have a complete connected pathway from points in Heritage Park, through the wooded areas, into the back lots of WCCCD and back out Northline Road. The unconnected pathway prevents long-distance running and cycling.
"Runners and walkers will have a long-distance route without having to cross City streets, and it will be a boom for the ever-increasing cycling crowd," Mayor Sollars said.
"The community leaders who created and improved Heritage Park in the past created a wonderful recreational legacy for our community," Mayor Sollars said. "Now, it’s our turn. Maintenance is one thing that we have to do to keep the park in good condition. But the other things – connecting of the pathways, renovations at the Sheridan Center, splash pad, and eventual lighting of the waterwheel – those add new special features that our residents, and others, will enjoy for years to come."
- The Heritage Park Clock stands next to the walking path around Coan Lake, It was purchased and donated by the Taylor Beautiful Council.
- An old-fashioned Covered Bridge crosses Coan Lake. The covered bridge in Heritage Park is connected to the popular walking path near Coan Lake. It is a popular spot for fishermen and photography.
- The Gazebo provides Heritage Park with a scenic view and perfect setting for weddings, city functions and concerts. The Gazebo overlooks the Coan Lake.
- The Greenwald/Herkimer Home was was moved to Heritage Park and restored to its original state om 1988. Presently, Maggie’s Sweet Shoppe and the Luminaria candle shop occupy the historic home.
- The Fred and Clara Knope Farm House moved to Heritage Park on November 1, 2000.
- The Log Cabin is Taylor’s oldest existing home, built around 1850. Fred Miller donated the cabin in 1985 and it was moved to Heritage Park in 1986. Various civic organizations and school class groups use the Log Cabin as a meeting place year round.
- The Sell/Schonsheck House was built by George W. Sell in 1909. The renovation of the exterior of the house was paid for with the help of a Community Development Block Grant. The building houses Rosecrans Picture Perfect Photography.
- The Taylor Heritage School was once attached to St. John’s Lutheran Church, and was used for confirmation classes as far back as 1882. In 1988, it was donated to the City for use in Heritage Park. The Taylor Historical Society restored the building in 1993 and it is a popular site for tourists and visitors at Heritage Park.
- The original Township Hall was built in 1855. Nearby the Township Hall is one of the beautiful flower plantings in Heritage Park. The Taylor Garden Club maintains and created several old-fashioned flower gardens throughout Heritage Park.
- The Hand Train Station was built in 1876 after the Wabash Railroad brought a railroad line through Taylor Township. In the early 1960s, the Hand Train Station was destroyed by fire. The Taylor School Building and Trades class built this near replica station in 1991.
- The Waterwheel is located in Heritage Park. This water wheel replica was purchased by the City of Taylor from the American Bar & Grill of Dearborn in 1989. The water mill building is now the home of the Ecology Club, which hosts tours, educational forums and events like the Fish ’N Fun Day each spring.
- Heritage West Mound Church was built in 1882 by a group of German settlers who came to Taylor to improve their lives. Through the efforts of the Taylor Historical Society, the City relocated the building to Heritage Park in 1994 and fully restored to its original condition.
- The Wishing Well reproduction was donated to the City by the Rotary Club of Taylor.
Overall, the scenic Heritage Park Coan Lake Historic Area has traditionally been a favorite site for local brides and grooms, homecoming and prom photography. Memories are captured throughout the charming little village surrounding Coan Lake. The area also hosts annual activities like the Relay for Life, Hallow-Palooza and Fall Fest.