The Dewey Cannon, captured in the Spanish-American War by Admiral Dewey, was presented to Three Oaks when its citizens raised $1,400 for a memorial to the men of the battleship Maine. This was the largest contribution, per capita, of any community in the nation. “Three Oaks Against the World,” a local paper proudly boasted. This park was dedicated October 17, 1899, by President William McKinley, and others. Presentation of the cannon took place on June 28, 1900. Guest of honor was Helen Miller Gould, called the Spanish-American War’s “Florence Nightingale.” Thousands of people were in attendance on each occasion.
Emily Hopcian, “President McKinley visits Three Oaks“, Detroit Free Press, October 14, 2007.
To this day, the MSU Archives and Historical Records maintains records from the event.