The last few decades have brought some great things to Brighton (Stillwater Grill, the Imagination Station, FlexTech High School) and a few not-so-great things (roundabouts, traffic, the Ugly Naked Guy).
So, as we think about all the things we’ve gained in Brighton, let’s also reflect on some of the things we’ve lost – and we’ve lost a lot. Great restaurants, stores, golf courses…
Whether you’ve lived in Brighton or just spent a lot of time there, you no doubt have your own list, but here’s mine.
THE 5 THINGS I MISS THE MOST ABOUT BRIGHTON
1. The Mill Pond Theater
The rickety old building on the banks of the Mill Pond was home to the Livingston Players for years. It had a wonderful charm to it, and I saw some wonderful shows there through the years. What I remember most about the Mill Pond Theater, though, is that it’s where my wife and I had our very first date. It was torn down to make room for some bathrooms (seriously), and I wasn’t the only one who shed some tears when the bulldozers showed up.
2. Uber’s Drugs
Yes, before there was a car service called Uber, there was a drug store called Uber’s (pronounced “Yoo-bers”). It was at the corner of Main Street and Grand River Avenue, and owner/pharmacist Bob Herbst was always on duty. Among its claims to fame: giving out $2 bills as change.
3. The Canopy
Brighton has seen plenty of elegant restaurants pop up in recent years (Ciao Amicis, Stillwater Grill, etc.), but nothing could hold a candle to the Canopy. You had Earl Williams at the piano, linen tablecloths, and steak to die for. People would come from all over Michigan just to eat at the Canopy.
4. Woodland Golf Course
Out where the Woodland Health Center is now was once a charming little golf course. There wasn’t really enough land here for an 18-hole golf course, but they somehow jammed all the fairways in. And you always ran the risk when you were driving down Grand River that somebody would bounce a golf ball off your car.
5. Burroughs Farms
It seems like Oak Pointe has been there forever, but alas, it isn’t so. That huge development in Genoa Township was once Burroughs Farms, a summer retreat for employees of the Burroughs Corporation. It had charming little cottages, picnic areas, hiking trails and a golf course. When I first started working at the Livingston County Press and Brighton Argus in 1983, we held our company picnic out there every summer. It was a cool, relaxing place.
So, what do YOU miss the most about Brighton?