Marion Oaks and more: The 5 things I miss the most about Howell

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I moved to Howell in 1983 when I got a job as the sports editor of the Livingston County Press. And in some ways, the town looked much the same 33 years ago as it looks today.

The Howell Theater was sitting in the same spot downtown, as were First National Bank, Cleary’s Pub, Yax Jewelers and a few more. The hospital on Byron Road was still there, although it was called McPherson Hospital, not St. Joseph Mercy Livingston Hospital. (And if you’re an old-timer like me, you still call it McPherson Hospital.) The new Howell High School had just opened, and it was magnificent.

Oh, and the Livingston County Courthouse was still there. Can’t forget that.

But man, so much more has changed in Howell since 1983. So, so much more.

MAMS (Michigan Avenue Middle School) is gone, replaced by the Howell Post Office.

Big Wheel rolled away, replaced as our local department store by the likes of Meijer and Walmart. (And remember, Howell is already on its SECOND Walmart; the original one was located across the street.)

The old D&C Store is now Mr. B’s.

The Midget Restaurant, which used to sit next to the Howell Theater, served its last gloriously greasy burger several decades ago.

The Old Howell House is history, as well. Best milkshakes ever.

In the 1980s, kids used to cruise the KPL (Kroger Parking Lot), but then Kroger moved out, replaced by Big Lots. Then Big Lots moved out, replaced by a fitness place. And I don’t think anyone cruises the parking lot anymore.

So, as long as I’m feeling all nostalgic about Howell, here’s another list: The 5 Things I Miss the Most About Howell.

1. Marion Oaks Golf Course

The property south of Howell has been sitting vacant for years now, but in its heyday, this was my favorite golf course in the area. Loved the golf course and loved the restaurant there. And I miss them both. I believe the golf course closed in 2006, and I can’t believe it’s been a decade.

2. Annie’s Pot

This little restaurant sat in a strip mall just east of town, and they had the best – the BEST – breadsticks ever.

3. Consumers Discount

Some were partial to the D&C Store downtown, but I always liked Consumers Discount for my department store needs. The store sat on the east side of downtown, and they had everything from socks to soft drinks. All at prices that make Walmart seem like Sak’s Fifth Avenue.

4. Sefa’s Market

One of the reasons I love Fowlerville so much is that there’s not one, but TWO grocery stores downtown. Howell lost a lot when it lost its only downtown grocery store. I loved Sefa’s.

5. The weekly LCP

We all thought it was a good thing when the newspaper went from being a weekly, to a twice-weekly, to a daily. But now I long for the days before the Internet when the Livingston County Press came out only on Wednesday, and that was the biggest day of the week in Howell. The only way to know what was going on in town was by reading the LCP.

So, what do YOU miss the most about Howell? Leave a comment below.

About Buddy Moorehouse 83 Articles
Longtime Livingston County journalist Buddy Moorehouse is director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.

23 Comments

  1. I’m trying to recall where the Big wheel store was located, do you remember?

  2. THE MIDGET , ITSELL’S CLOTHING STORE & JOHNSON’S DRUG STORE SODA FOUNTAIN.

  3. I miss the Itsell Centennial farm at the corner of Latson and Grand River with its big barn and fields of corn and the morgan horse farm just down the road. Driving down Grand River was a more beautiful trip without looking at giant box stores and fast food. The drive makes me sad now.

  4. Most Certainly 100% Annie’s Pot. Bread Sticks and Dip you just can’t find anywhere else. BUT the BEST part was my mom Annie. She made us all feel at home. It was a lot of fun and great memories of customers, family and friends.

  5. Silverman’s which after 15 years changed to Grecian Towers then Brunner’s, then Holiday or Howell Grill then Brunner’s again. But it was Pot Pouri before Silverman’s and I think The Flame before that?

  6. If you cherish your memories of Howell, fondly relive your downtown experiences, enjoy your Howell antiques and treasure your photo albums; they will be your links to the the things you miss about Howell. I hope yours live on as vividly as mine.

  7. The second you walked in Sega’s the smell from there bakery hit your senses. There bakery was located up front by the door. I swear I can still remember those wonderful smells. Annie’s Pot had the best soup and breadsticks. I think they called the soup “Depression Soup”. I remember the soup had navy beans, potatoes, carrots ect. Just great!

  8. Sefa’s fresh donuts bright & early. Annie’s Pot of course. Spagnola’s…shakes. Anthony’s…sandwiches.

  9. Ahh yes consumers !!! DJ records..the hobby shop..and that little bulk food store that sat across from country lane flowers..w.d Adams..and spags!!!

  10. How about Fat Dale’s, or Sufficient Grounds, or The Eclectic Twist, The Thistledown , The Family Diner, Howell Travel and Better World Travel. You really could go on and on and on…

  11. I am with you on Sefa’s. It was both market and social hub, kind of like Uptown Coffeehouse with a butcher instead of a barista, and produce and canned goods. Gosh, I miss that place.

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