On Tuesday night, the Alpena County Sheriff’s Department held an inaugural event celebrating great service of their different corrections officers and deputies. They give out the awards each year, but this year was the first time they held a special night for it.
The night took place in the now–named Charles Lynch Training Room, and that name holds some interesting history. Charles Lynch was a sheriff in Alpena County in the 1800s who was shot and killed in the line of duty.
“I thought to myself, ‘how have I never heard of this?'” said Alpena County Sheriff’s Department Administrative Assistant Kat Tomazewski. “Nobody tells this story. The more I read about it, the more I realized that he had been completely forgotten.”
Lynch’s story is one of great tragedy. Lynch’s wife died just a year and a half after he did, survived by their four sons who would be split up. There was an unknown amount of reward money for the capture of Lynch’s killer notorious gangster Blinky Morgan, but that money was never uncovered.
After discovering this story, Tomazewski wanted to honor Lynch’s legacy and make sure his story was never forgotten.
“It became my mission, and as I started working with other people who have the same passion for his story, it gained momentum,” said Tomazewski. “It’s fun when you can work on these things with groups of people.”
Tomazewski got to work on uncovering more about the story, eventually finding a photograph of lynch. Now, anyone who trains at the Alpena County Sheriff’s Department will do so in the Charles Lynch Training Room.
“We thought it was fitting that our new facility, we have an awesome training room, that that training room be named after him, so as of yesterday, it was named the Charles Lynch Training Room, so that was kind of cool too,” said Alpena County Sheriff Erik Smith.
Lynch’s legacy can now never be forgotten, as it will be remembered any time anyone asks, “Who is Charles Lynch?”
“Every time visitors come here to train from out of area, they’ll ask, ‘who is Charles Lynch?’ and we can tell the story,” said Tomazewski. “We can keep his legacy alive within our agency as well, and make sure that his story is continued to be told.”