Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hell, Michigan

We just got back from our official "house hunting" trip to Toledo, Ohio (more on that later). We stayed with my parents at their place in Michigan and drove down every day.

On our one day where we actually got to do something fun (instead of tearing our hair out worrying if we were going to find a place to live) we went to Hell, Michigan.

I grew up about 20 miles from here in Ann Arbor, but had never really heard about it until it was featured on "Extreme Towns" on the Travel Channel.

When they say it's a town they're stretching it because there are only about 74 people but there are plenty of tourists!
The "main strip" of Hell consists of 3 buildings, a bar called The Dam Site Inn, an ice cream/souvenir shop called Screams Ice Cream and a pizza parlor/part-time post office called "Hell in a Handbasket" (can you tell they're really working the theme?) where you can buy postcards officially stamped from Hell.

While small, the area is also in the Pinckney Recreation Area and sits on 11,000 acres of state park so there is plenty of hiking, canoe rental (available at Hell in a Handbasket), and horseback rentals (the nearby Hell Creek Ranch) but most people come for bragging rights.
There's also a mini Putt-Putt and children's area.

And for the really adventurous souls (or those of the white trash persuasion) there's a small wedding chapel where you and that special someone can tie the knot.

And how did the town get its name you ask?

Well, there are apparently 2 theories to that little conundrum:

First: The town's founder, George Reeve, ran a mill/general store and moonshine operation back in 1838. When the farmers would come to grind their grain and stop to set a spell, they would often "forget" to come back home again. So when asked where her husband was, the farmer's wife would often reply, "Oh, he's in Hell!".

The 2nd theory is that the ever cantankerous Mr. Reeve, when asked what they should call his town replied rather peevishly, "They can call it Hell for all I care!"

And the name stuck.


  1. Most entertaining :)
    I love "Hell in a Handbasket". Clever.

  2. Becca-
    It was cute all the plays on words they used. It's definitely worth a visit if you're in the area. You could always pick up a hot biker too. I forgot to mention The Dam Site Inn is a biker bar (and it smells kind of bad--we went in and were going to grab a quick bite but quickly changed our minds).

  3. 向著星球長驅直進的人,反比踟躕在峽路上的人,更容易達到目的。............................................................