William J. Terney was a prominent figure in Michigan’s lumber industry during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a lumber baron, he played a significant role in the exploitation and development of Michigan’s vast forests.

Roscommon Dollar GeneralLumber barons like William J. Terney were instrumental in the state’s economic growth, and their activities shaped the landscape and communities of Michigan during that era.

The historical marker states that the house was built in the late 1880 and that information would have been provided by the organization filling out the request for the historical marker. Other research has suggested that the house was built in the early 20th century.

Unfortunately, the Terney House and neighboring Masonic Lodge were demolished in May 2012 to make way for a Dollar General store and parking lot. The historical marker was removed, not sure why they didn’t move it to another location on the property. Seems a missed opportunity for Dollar General be more a part of the community.

However, the local Historical Society was able to salvage old relics and materials from the demolition sites for preservation in the local museum.

Terney House

Terney HouseIndustry & Invention (1875-1915) – Registered in 1978 and erected in 1980 – ID # L631

Located at 603 Lake St., Roscommon, Higgins Township – Lat: 44.49789700/Long: -84.59316500

William J. Terney, lumber baron and Civil War veteran, moved to the Roscommon area in 1887 and erected this house in the late 1880s. Shortly afterwards, he began extensive lumbering operations here and was instrumental in bringing the railroad through the village. Near the turn of the century Terney was appointed county treasurer. He was elected village president in 1904, and in later years, served as an officer for the Michigan State Fair. Terney engaged in a real estate business until his death in 1926. Local banker William B. Orcutt purchased this large Queen Anne residence from Terney in 1910. Its interior features white oak parquet flooring and ornate paneling, linking it to the once-booming lumbering epoch of Roscommon.

Learn more about the rich history of the Northeast Lower Peninsula.