Markin Plaque Updated
Copyright 2016 - Checker Car Club of America
Part of the legacy of Checker Motors, and of the Markin family, is Markin Glen Park. Markin Glen is a 150 acre park located just a few miles north of Kalamazoo which offers natural forest, public recreation, and camping. In 1988 the land for this park was transferred to Kalamazoo County by the Markin family on behalf of Morris Markin, the founder of Checker Motors, to be used for the enjoyment of all. Upon completion of the parks facilities in 2000, a small monument was placed honoring Morris Markin. On the stone there are two plaques,
one bears his image and the other offers recognition for his accomplishments. It used to read:
MORRIS MARKIN FOUNDED CHECKER MOTORS
CORPORATION IN 1922. HIS RISE FROM EMIGRATION
TO A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS EXECUTIVE WAS THE
FULFILLMENT OF THE AMERICAN DREAM. HE LOVED
THIS COUNTRY AND IN PARTICULAR THIS WONDERFUL
LAND. HE WOULD BE PROUD OF ITS ULTIMATE USE AS
A PARK SETTING FOR HIS FELLOW CITIZENS.
CHECKER MOTORS CORPORATION CONTINUES TO
THRIVE AS A LIVING MEMORY TO
MORRIS MARKINS AMERICAN DREAM.
This is a fitting tribute, yet we are all aware that the last sentence no longer applies.
Last year during the South Bend convention, some members of the CCCoA visited Markin Park and noted that the last sentence needed updating. It was discussed at the Board/Members meeting, and agreed, that the Club should see if the final wordage could be revised to better reflect the current situation.
Certainly this would take some doing, but it was a worthy consideration. The Markin family was contacted, the Kalamazoo County Parks Department was asked, a local sculptor was engaged, and everyone concurred. This was a good idea and very doable.
Sponsorship from the Parks Dept., the Checker Car Club of America, and some individuals was offered, then appropriate new wordage was chosen, and the sculptor arranged to remake the plaque. There were a few hitches along the way, but it is done.
The revised plaque carries the new message and the last sentence now reads:
CHECKER MOTORS CEASED OPERATIONS IN JUNE
OF 2009. ITS LEGACY LIVES ON IN HISTORY, WITH
THE VEHICLES THEY PRODUCED, AND IN THE MEMORIES
OF THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HELPED FORGE A LEGEND.
On April 15, we mounted the new plaque at Markin Glen Park. This was a good thing for our Club to do. We helped keep history current and relevant. Many thanks to everyone who helped identify the need, and to those who helped make the necessary change to reflect the new reality.
Next year (July 2017) the CCCoA Convention will be in Kalamazoo, and you can all see how your Club helped update Checker history.