We came across this undated photograph we think was shot in the 1970s. It was undoubtedly a humorous attempt to get tourists driving by to stop and take a look and maybe take a selfie with Mr. Grindstone. Of course, this was many years before the smartphone was invented.
Regardless, it’s another example of a quirky Thumb roadside attraction that we find irresistible and must stop and take a look at. The Mayor’s office and City Jail is a nice touch.
According to the sign on the Grindstone City’s Mayor’s office, “Plin T Peace” is the mayor, and “Ann Quiet” is the Police Chief at the time. I wonder if they really gave out Free Souvenir Grindstones.
Also, the town’s year of establishment in the photo looks to be a bit aggressive. We show Grindstone City founded that same year the Michigan territory was admitted to the union as a state; 1838. This was a mere four years after the schooner Rip Van Winkle, captained by Aaron Peer, came into a natural harbor west of the Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse in 1834. After anchoring and securing his ship, the crew explored the dense virgin forest and rocky beach for shelter and firewood.
The tall cedar canopy was so thick that snow remained in places even though it was midsummer. The men came across huge flat rocks lying about the shore and forests. Captain Peer took some of the pieces of this flat stone to Detroit. They found the samples to be impeccably suited for paving streets, replacing Ohio flagstone as the preferred surface.
We are not sure exactly where this building was located and who was behind the effort. Never the less it’s an ingenious example of one way to market your little hometown. One of our readers pointed out that this building was gone by 1975 and replaced by a pole barn.
According to the website Roadside America, Michigan has a bunch of various roadside attractions. Some historical, some eclectic, and some plain weird. These attractions give character and provide a unique reminder for folks to keep coming back.
If someone knows who took these photos let us know. We would like to give credit and learn more.