Saline celebrated Independence Day and honored one of its most dedicated citizens at the Depot Museum July 2.
More than 500 people visited the Depot Museum for the second annual event, presented by the Saline Area Historical Society. Two of the most popular attractions were old modes of transportation. Parents and children took a short horse and buggy ride around the property. But the most popular attraction was the velocipede, which traveled up and down the 40-yard track for hours. The human-powered rail vehicle, used for maintenance in its day, provided riders with a good work out.
There were other activities, too. Volunteers from the Michigan Archaeological Society held a "dig" in the dirt for kids. After the dig the kids sifted through the dirt to find evidence of Native American tribes and other clues about local history.
Visitors also toured the Depot Museum, viewed antique tractors displayed by the Saline Retired Iron group, and learned about local and American history from volunteers from the Saline Area Historical Society.
The city and historical society also paid tribute to the late Wayne Clements, a tireless leader and volunteer with the society. The Depot Museum, the Independence Day event and many other local initiatives were a direct result of his passion and his work. Clements, co-founder of the society, passed away Dec. 31.
Historical Society President Doug Elfring, Saline Mayor Brian Marl, and Clements family were on hand to honor Clements.
"This event was started by a very dear friend and mentor. Without his hard work, much of what you see today wouldn't be here," Elfring said. "We knew Wayne did so much work to put together events like these. We knew we had big shoes to fill. What we did not realize was how big and how important he was to this organization."
Mayor Marl thanked all historical society volunteers for their work to enrich the lives of Saline residents before he spoke about Clements.
"Wayne was the driving force behind the society for many years. If you've been involved in Saline for the last three decades, you knew Wayne Clements. If you didn't know Wayne Clements, you probably weren't that involved in the community," Marl said. "He was a great supporter of the historical society of many important endeavors in the Saline Community."
Marl was joined by city council member Dean Girbach as the city officially dedicated the Depot Trail in Clements' name. Clements' daughter Penny, and her husband, Zac Johnson, and son, Henry, unveiled a memorial stone.
The trail will now be known as the Wayne Clements Memorial Depot Trail.