10 things I love about Fowlerville, and 5 things I don’t

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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?

About Buddy Moorehouse 103 Articles

Longtime Livingston County journalist Buddy Moorehouse is director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.

44 Comments

  1. Fowlerville was my home town, I grew up there most all of my life. My Father was a public servant and my Mother was a paid servant . Both proud of them and how much they both worked for the citizens of Fowlerville and their community that they loved very much. But today the Gosvernment isn’t what is use to be. There are people there that are about themselves and not the community, sad but true. Those that were the true Fowlervillians are mostly all gone, passed away with much larger value systems, it wasn’t about them but all about Fowlerville!!

  2. Mark and I went to Fowlerville and loved it and love Howell was up there 3x.

  3. I’m a recent Fowlerville immigrant all the way from Grand Rapids.

    Things I like:

    1) Fowlerville United Brethren Church. Awesome community, awesome people, really living Jesus’s love.

    And the spring “Outflow” event they do each year is incredible. Last year they did nearly 100 different service projects in town all on the same day at 0 cost to residents… from replacing roofs to installing new ramps for seniors who couldn’t get in and out of their places.

    So cool.

    2) Never having to lock your doors. Not what I was used to when I moved here.

    3) The Pizza Box. Best pizza I’ve had in decades.

    4) Sweet Sensations. So nice to have a top notch homemade candy store in town.

    Things I dislike:

    1) Christmas in the ‘Ville is always on Big Ten Championship Saturday. As a Spartan fan, that means I’m not going to Christmas in the ‘Ville. (But I’d otherwise love to.)

    2) Speed enforcement. Police seem a little too eager to pull motorists over if they manage to hit 26 MPH on the speedometer.

    3) The ridiculous traffic light programming between the WB I-96 exit and Fowlerville Farms.

  4. I never lived in Fowlerville but my wife grew up there so I wanted to read the article. Buddy I can assure you that you are wrong about Fowlerville being the only place with two Subways that close. I’m from Lebanon, IN where we have 3 subways and two are just as close of not closer than the two in Fowlerville. Lebanon had a regular Walmart connected to a strip mall that had a Subway. They tore down the Walmart and built a super Walmart a a little farther back from the old one and the super Walmart has a Subway. So the Subways are separated by a parking lot.

  5. they took down the water tower! for what????? to me that was the land mark for fowlerville. my dad was from fowlerville graduated from the high school their on collins street, now long gone…….. fowlerville to me is a small town place with a small town living…… why make the changes….. if it`s not broke, then don`t fix it…… leave things the way they were……….

  6. Thanks for all the comments – and you pointed out plenty of things I love about Fowlerville, too!

    • Buddy- did you know Larry Kenworthy? He was an owner of The Bloated Goat, who died several years ago. I think he owned the bar at the time of his passing. He was also an electrician who worked with my husband for years.

  7. I love the Kunde family!
    I love all the wonderful people in Fowlerville they are all genuine!
    I love GOLDEN DAYS CAFE!
    I LOVE STJOHN’S LUTHERAN CHURCH!

  8. the Fowlerville high school has an indoor track which is very nice, right above one of the Gym, which they have 2 of in the high school………..The “Fowlerville Family Fun Fair is a joke. , where else can you DRIVE your kids to a big field to ride rides while you sit in the beer tent and get drunk, then Drive your kids home……….I haven’t went since they changed that………The old High school, ( called Munn Middle school ) is being wasted……..they only use a small portion for the little glad center now and the little glad center is empty I believe, not sure about that, but they added to the Munn school and now they don’t even use the new part or mostly the whole building and they waste heating it………I have other gtipes, but I lived in Fowlerville since 1964, and have seen lots of changes for the good and some for the bad.

  9. Sleazy Riders is the worst. I don’t just dislike that they come here annually, it goes beyond that. Ridiculous gas prices. On the plus: it’s not Detroit. Do like the small town feel. Like hearing the sirens twice daily.

  10. I grew up in Fowlerville, left after graduation in 1965. Miss the good times – Spag’s ice cream and candy, and Ellen Spag’s good humor; The D&C Store where I worked; Hamilton’s dry goods;
    cotton candy at the Fowlerville Fair; buying school books at Tommy Wood’s drug store; the Fowlerville Review. It’s all changed a lot, and that’s good. Fowlerville is growing and progressing and becoming an excellent village.

  11. I lived in fowlerville 23 yrs ago..I really enjoyed having beers and playing pool with friends at the goat. Really loved fowlerville. I moved off to be near family in Ontario Canada.. I’m so happy to see the goat is still open.

  12. I absolutely love “Grille in the Ville” , food is excellent, and my service was superb, my server, Candace, was such a delight! I am definitely going back!

  13. Grew up in Fowlerville. Haven’t lived there since 1985.
    Pro: I knew so many people in town.
    Con: Those people would tell my parents everything I did when not at home.

  14. I love Reggie’s Barber Shop & the fact that my best friend owns it!!!

  15. I love the Libray. Their encouragement and dedication to reading and community involvement is heartwarming.

    The churches and their various ministreys that support our community

    The Family Impact Center

    The Fair: Which will ALWAYS be the 4 H fair to me.

    The nucleus of our school district in one area.

    Our TWO parks in one small town.

    The loving and caring PEOPLE!

  16. Olden Days Cafe is the place to go if you want a piece of history in Fowlerville. The food is awesome, the coffee hot and refilled, and at any given time there is someone there that can tell you about the olden days in Fowlerville, MI.

  17. One thing I don’t like is we lost the hardware store. I loved it with its large selection and knowledgeable and helpful people. Same with the lumber yard. Hate driving to Howell and dealing with the traffic and lack of service at the big box stores.

    • News around town is williamston hardware is buying/bought it and is looking to reopen.

    • That was Dillinham’s Hardware store on the corner, and Zimmerman’s owned the Lumber Yard, right?

  18. Olden days Cafe…great home cooking , love the old fashioned cinnamon rolls & skillets.Good country cooking,and wont hurt your wallet!!!

  19. pizza box pizza best pizza by far in Fowlerville (formally danny’s pizza) miss danny for sure!! sweet sensations best candy/ chocolate for any occasion!! need a decent restaurant in Fowlerville!! grill in the ville is ok but had bad experience and have not been back!

  20. The things I love most about Fowlerville, is the lack of heavy traffic,the friendly and great service we received from all our local stores, people and businesses like save on treat others as family and quick to give a helping hand to community events.

    I grew up in Fowlerville and I’ve seen some great things fade and disappear, spagnolo candy and ice cream shop was always a place where you as a childfelt like it was Christmas when you walked in the door with all its candy homemade ice cream and the coldest pops in town was one of my fondest childhood memories, also the bowling alley which had great pool tables and video arcade which gave kids something to do.I also miss Fowlerville farms giant honey beehive they had.

    I’ve been back and forth throughout the United States, and have lived in Howell Brighton and other cities in the U.S. And the thing I discovered in places near or far is there is no place that I would rather live and raise my children then my blessed hometown of Fowlerville!

  21. what I don’t like about Fowlerville~ is that I no longer live there 🙁 Love my home town! I will move back some day! I love that I know almost every one, That Reggie has cut my hair since we were teenagers,that I can walk to the grocery store & see my Sister Debbie, or walk to town offices & see my brother Bill. My Mother still lives there,no longer in our family home but she is still living in Fowlerville. Fowlerville will always be Home Sweet Home!!

    • Hey Pattie, we sure had a great time back in the day! Miss you and Fowlerville!

  22. I do not like or enjoy the Easy Rider’s rodeo that descends on us every year in August. They take away our village parking space’s with their bikes, play loud music into the night & disruptive, not to mention not family oriented!!

  23. Love – at least 3 dog groomers in town
    Hate – the road commission thinking they know how to grade the dirt roads when clearly they don’t!!

  24. Love – at least 3 dog groomers in town
    Hate – gas / cigarette prices and most of all the road commission thinking they know how to grade the dirt roads when clearly they don’t!!

  25. Don’t forget about the wonderful fireworks display we all get to enjoy!

  26. That huge parking lot was supposed to be for a mini mall that was to include a new True Value hardware store. Shot down after Wal-mart. Bowling alley closed after one to many alcohol sales to minors. Heroin problem, I addressed that in a letter to The News and Views 8 or 10 years ago. Parents have their heads in the sand or party with their kids. Average age of first time heroin use in Livingston county is 13…13!

  27. Well said!
    I’ve often thought a Bowling alley in Fowlerville would be nice! Everyone has to drive a minimum of 20 minutes to get to one!
    A sports restaurant would be nice too!

  28. Very well written! My thoughts exactly!
    I’ve often thought a Bowling alley in Fowlerville would be nice! Everyone has to drive a minimum of 20 minutes to get to one!
    A sports restaurant would be nice too!

  29. Grille In The Ville! The best Chef and food at the BEST price! The owners are awesome!

  30. I loved growing up in Fowlerville and still love many folks still there! Great memories!!!

  31. ‘Don’t Love’ about Fowlerville. We have highest water rates in area.

  32. The Fowlerville Family Fair is also the highlight of our summer! I don’t think people understand the amount of work it takes to keep a little town fair alive and well these days. Kudos to Jenny Rhodes and crew! Also to all the 4H families that are the heart of this fair! My other favorite is Christmas In The Ville. This has become the best holiday event in the county in my opinion. Way to go Steve MacDermaid and all of the others that put so much time into this!

  33. Love -Christmas in the Ville, small town feel, grille in the Ville, community support

    Dislikes – More bullying in schools than should be, walmart, better website and communication of ongoing activities for schools and community

  34. Love -Christmas in the Ville, small town feel, grille in the Ville, community support

    Dislike – More bullying in schools than should be, walmart, better website/communication of ongoing activities for schools and community

  35. I would add..

    Christmas in the Ville. A great day for the whole family.
    The Shop-a great group of people/artists.
    The Feedbag Cafe
    The people of Fowlerville who, for the most part are always kind and friendly.

    I also agree with all your other choices and want to add that I too am a huge Maria’s fan. My girls have been dancing there for 5 years and, I really feel like it’s the “hub” of Fowlerville.

  36. 1. The shop. Best tattoos and fantastic service.
    2. Sweet sensations. Easter, Christmas, Halloween would not be the same!
    3. Those grocery stores you discussed. Do you know Curtis’ will even special order within reason? How awesome
    4. Leather store hand making goods. No further explanation needed.
    5. The people. Really. Say hi, wave, be cordial… They will love it and respond.
    6. The crime rate. Again, no explanation needed.
    7. The schools. Children are both book and common sense ready to take on the world. Support and love them.
    8. Maria’s school of dance. I enjoyed many a recital put on at the performing theater.
    9. The Alverson theater group. Don’t believe me? Go support a performance and see for yourself.
    10. Fowlerville fair swap meet.yes, the fair itself is cool, but not fairground swap meet cool. And the fireworks are top notch as well!!!!
    Things I don’t like:
    1. Dual purpose fast “food” chains. Ewwww gross
    2. Where did the bowling alley go? It was there one day, gone the next!?
    3. Too many empty buildings. There is so much potential here. Build it (fill it) and They will come.
    4. Heroin deaths/addiction. One is too many
    5. The farmers market not having a winter space .

  37. All that you mentioned are great and all that you don’t I agree with. I would add Grill in the ville has great food. I miss the bowling alley as well. I just got back into bowling and their lanes were nice and the people friendly

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