OWOSSO, Mich. (Michigan Back Roads) – It’s Curwood Festival weekend in Owosso, and that means plenty of carnival rides, parades, small town fun, and celebration of its favorite author James Oliver Curwood. While you are in Owosso, be sure to check out these other great places in Shiawassee County.

Curwood Castle – Between 1922 and 1923, James Oliver Curwood built the castle to serve as his writing studio. He was an early conservationist and a celebrated novelist. His work is so enduring that more than 200 motion pictures have been inspired by his writings. The “Castle” sits on the banks of the Shiawassee River within the grounds of Curwood Castle Park.  Also, within the park’s eight acres on the Shiawassee River are the Shiawassee Arts Center, Comstock Pioneer Cabin, Woodard Paymaster Building, Walk of History, Heritage Bridge, Miner Walkway. Curwood Castle is the 7th most visited historical site in Michigan.

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Corunna Historical Village – If you ever get the urge to find out what the “good old days” were really like, Corunna is the town to visit. The Historical Village there has created a destination that brings that time to life. You can experience what life was like with no running water, no electricity, and no automobiles. Heck, back then they didn’t even have Facebook, OMG. Life was different. It was a quieter time, with a slower pace. A visit here will give you a good idea what the “good old days” were really like.

DeVries Nature Conservancy – Carriage and Sleigh Museum – Here are preserved carriages, buggies, sleighs and others, nearly 30 of them, making this one of the largest collections in the mid-west. Some of the vehicles on display were manufactured nearby, at the old Owosso Carriage and Sleigh Company, in the early 1900s. They make great use of some sleighs, offering winter rides on the trails of the nature conservancy trails.

Durand Union Station and Michigan Railroad History Museum – This depot has become one of the most photographed train stations in the U.S. The museum houses exhibits featuring photos and artifacts from the glory days of Durand’s railroading past.

Shiawassee County Historical Museum – The museum maintains collections of written records and artifacts from across the entire county. Group tours are welcome.

Steam Railroading Institute – This organization works to preserve the knowledge and skills necessary to operate steam locomotives, and to tell the story of the impact railroading had on the development of Michigan. This is where you can book a color tour train ride. The color tour is aboard our vintage passenger coaches pulled by a Great Lakes Central diesel locomotive. Enjoy a ride through Northern Michigan and get pictures that can’t be found any other way.