Hugh McCurdy (1829-1908), a native of Scotland, immigrated with his parents to Birmingham, Michigan, in 1837. He first worked as a cooper's apprentice, and after reading the law was admitted to the Michigan bar in 1854 and practised [sic] law in Pontiac. Soon after moving to Corunna in 1855, he was appointed Shiawassee County prosecutor. He was elected probate judge in 1860, state senator in 1864 and mayor of Corunna in 1880 and 1887. McCurdy established the First National Bank of Corunna in 1865. A member of the Free and Accepted Masons since 1850, he became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Michigan in 1873. In this capacity, he laid the cornerstone of the new state capitol on October 2, 1873. In 1892, McCurdy was elected Grand Master of the Knights Templar of the United States. In 1899, McCurdy and his wife, Emma, gave land to Corunna for a public park.
Hugh McCurdy Park
"Corunna Has A Merry Christmas!" headlined the Corunna Journal on December 21, 1899. One week before Christmas, Judge Hugh McCurdy and his wife, Emma, donated 34 acres of their estate to the citizens of Corunna as a Christmas gift. The McCurdys continued to live in their house, nestled amid the parkland. Detroit landscape gardeners Rackham and Dilger designed the park with winding paths, rustic shelters
and a casino. The casino burned in 1930, but was rebuilt later that year. A bridge gave park visitors access to Diana Island, located in a channel of the Shiawassee River that once flowed through the northern portion of the park. Over the years the park was the home of many animals including deer, raccoon and caged bears. The Shiawassee County fair was held here from 1934 to 1987.