In the 1970s along Dryden Road from just west of Shoemaker Road to just west of Muir Road, four families produced seven medical professionals. A local doctor referred to this area as the “Miracle Mile”.

To become a medical professional–medical doctor, dentist, veterinarian, and nurse–it takes a special kind of person. It takes a person who can endure through the rigorous training to earn a medical degree.

The first to begin their journey to become medical doctors were classmates and cousins (John) Christopher Hough and David A. Vandyke. They graduated from Almont High School in 1966 in a class of only 43 students.

Christopher Hough was the son of Walter Wells Hough and Rose Adeline York Hough. Rose was a nurse trained at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Before her death in 1964, she encouraged Chris to pursue a medical career. After her death in 1964, Wells remarried. Chris continued to receive encouragement from his step-mother, Lucille Sarah Swain Hough. He went to the University of Michigan and received his medical degree with a specialty in geriatrics.

David A. Van Dyke was the son of Allyn Francis Van Dyke and Ada Geraldine Hough Van Dyke. David attended Michigan State University and received his degree in 1974. He specialized in rural psychiatry and is a national and internationally expert in rural psychiatry.

The Currey family–Robert Mair Currey and Betty Grace Williamson Curre–who lived on the north side of Dryden Road just to the west of Shoemaker Road, produced two dentists and a veterinarian.

Son Allan R. was a 1968 graduate of Almont High School. Al did his undergraduate work at Michigan State University and received his degree in 1972. He then went to the University of Michigan and received his general dentistry degree in 1976. He was encouraged to become a dentist by local dentist, Dr. Charles Avery.

Son Arthur (Art) D. graduated from Almont in 1969. Having grown up on a dairy farm with cows and horses he was inclined to become a veterinarian. Art initially attended the University of Wyoming for two years before returning to attend Michigan State University for a year doing his undergraduate work. He then spent three years in Michigan State University’s veterinary school, graduating in 1975. His specialty was in large animals–horses, cows, pigs, and sheep. After selling his practice, he taught at the MSU veterinary school.

Bob and Betty’s youngest child, Kay went to school in Almont until 1973 when the family moved to Charlevoix. She graduated from Charlevoix High School in 1977. She earned her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University in 1981. After moving to Illinois, she earned her degree in general dentistry from Northwestern University. Kay’s career choice was influenced by big brother, Allan.

Donald Muir and Marjorie Grace Makedonsky Muir had two of their five children become medical professionals. Donald’s uncle, Dr. Neil Muir worked for a time for Dr. G. Clare Bishop in Almont in the late 1940s and early 1950s before moving his practice to Croswell. His wife, Katherine Grace Wagner Muir was also a nurse.

Daughter Connie always knew she wanted to be a nurse. While in high school, she worked as a lab technician at Community Hospital. After graduation in 1972 from Almont High School, she went to Michigan State University for two years and then transferred and received her nursing degree from the Butterworth School of Nursing in Grand Rapids.

Son Donald, a 1977 graduate of Almont, initially went to Michigan State University and completed his undergraduate degree. His intent was to become a veterinarian but influenced in part by Dr. G. Clare Bishop and one of his college professors, he went to the University of Michigan to receive his medical degree.

Four families produced three medical doctors, two dentists, a veterinarian, and a nurse between 1974 and 1985 –a remarkable feat!

Copies of the Almont Historical Society’s various books can be purchased by contacting Jim Wade at 810-796-3355 or jrwade49@ gmail.com or stopping by the museum on Saturdays from 1-4 p.m.