For the past 21 years, I’ve lived in the Fowlerville area (Fowlerville and its southern suburb, Gregory), and even before that, I spent a lot of time there. There’s a lot I love about Fowlerville – and a little I don’t love – so I figured it’s time to document all that. Here are 10 things I love about Fowlerville – and five things I don’t.
10 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT FOWLERVILLE:
1. Two downtown grocery stores
Everyone thought that when Walmart opened in the late 2000s, it would drive all the downtown stores out of business. “Everyone” didn’t know Fowlerville. Not only is Fowlerville Pharmacy still standing, but so are the TWO downtown grocery stores – Save-On Foods and Curtis Grocery (which us old-timers still refer to as “Frank’s IGA”). Fowlerville is the only downtown in Livingston County that has a grocery store – and we have not one, but two.
2. The Fowlerville News & Views
Steve and Dawn Horton’s newspaper is everything a small-town newspaper should be. They cover every happening large and small, and it brings the community together once a week. Oh, and the local businesses support the heck out of it. Are newspapers dead? Not in Fowlerville.
3. Maria’s School of Dance
I love this place not just because my daughter Lottie is learning to do tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern and every other type of dance there (although that’s the main reason). I also love Maria’s School of Dance because it’s an economic engine for the downtown, luring hundreds of people into the village every afternoon and evening to shop and dine. Kudos to owner Maria Usher for bringing culture and dollars to the community.
4. Alverson Center for the Performing Arts
You won’t find many small towns anywhere in America that have a high school theater like this.
5. The Bloated Goat
With the possible exception of Mugg & Bopps, this is the best name of any business in Livingston County. This isn’t just a Fowlerville institution; it’s a Michigan institution. Fowlerville wouldn’t be Fowlerville without the Goat.
6. Dual-Purpose Fast-Food Places
Fowlerville is fast-food heaven, thanks in large part to the innovative way we double up on restaurants. We’ve jammed a Taco Bell and a Pizza Hut into the same restaurant, and we’ve done the same with KFC and A&W. Four fast-food restaurants in two buildings. You won’t get that kind of efficiency anywhere else in Livingston County.
7. A high school football field with no track
At most every other high school, you’re far away from the action because there’s a track around the field. Not at Fowlerville High School. The football field doesn’t have a track, which means you’re right on top of the action at football games. That makes it the best place in Livingston County to watch a game.
8. The gift shop at Fowlerville Farms
From Michigan and MSU stuff to cool little trinkets, the gift shop here has a little of everything.
9. The Fowlerville Fair
It’s gone through a few name changes and other changes through the years (in fact, I don’t think it’s even called the “Fowlerville Fair” anymore), but for the most part, it’s still the same event it was when I moved to Livingston County in 1983. Best week of the summer.
10. No roundabouts
Brighton has them, Howell has them, Hartland has them, Fowlerville doesn’t. Advantage, Fowlerville.
FIVE THINGS I DON’T LOVE ABOUT FOWLERVILLE:
1. Gas prices
If you’re looking to pay 10 to 20 cents a gallon more than anywhere else in Livingston County, you’ve come to the right place!
2. Too much downtown parking?
Is there such a thing as TOO much downtown parking? Maybe in Fowlerville. There’s a parking lot on the west side of downtown that’s the size of a football field – hundreds and hundreds of parking spots. Aside from parade days, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a car parked there. Ever. There must have been some reason the village decided they needed that much parking, but I’m not seeing it.
3. Two Subway restaurants just a couple hundred yards apart
There are two Subways in Fowlerville – one on the north side of I-96 at Walmart, and one on the south side of I-96 in the strip mall. This might be the only place in America where you can stand at one Subway and see another one. I love Subway, but how about we spread them out a little?
4. Ruth’s Resale being closed
Ruth’s Resale was located at the main four intersection in Fowlerville, and that store was awesome. You could buy ANYTHING there – records, antiques, golf clubs, tools. Ruth was a chain-smoking little old lady who owned the place, and she was always willing to make a deal on whatever you wanted. She passed away a few years ago, and the place has been sitting empty ever since. I miss it.
5. No bowling alley
Many moons ago, we had Spadafore’s Superbowl in town. Fowlerville needs another bowling alley.
So, what do YOU love and not love about Fowlerville?