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.

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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...

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