Holly – Downtown

Holly clock

Historic Holly, Michigan

June 2-10, 2011

While I was camped at McGinnis Lake Campground at Holly Recreation Area, I was advised not to pass up a visit to downtown Holly. It didn't take much persuasion because I'm always game for walking around little historic towns!

Holly - Township

The Holly Township Hall was built in 1892 and since then has been used as a fire station, a jail and municipal offices. It's now home to the Chamber of Commerce. I really liked this brick building with its arched windows and I've always been attracted to buildings that are built on a corner this way.

Holly - collage

Battle Alley plaque: "This historic district was once the scene of frequent brawls. In 1880, an uproar between local rowdies and workers of a traveling circus rendered so many bruised, beaten, and jailed, that this street was thus named "Battle Alley." Carry A. Nation, "Kansas saloon smasher," came to Holly on August 28, 1908, at the request of the local prohibition committee. Wielding her umbrella, she strode through the alley's bars bellowing about the "Demon Rum" and its sins. In 1910, Battle Alley became the first brick street in the village."

Now it's most famous for its unique antique stores. At the end is the Historic Holly Hotel (no longer an inn, but is now a nationally known fine dining restaurant listed on the U.S. Register of Historic Places) with its late Queen Anne Victorian architecture.

If you're in the mood for less formal fare, around the corner is Broadstreet Station Pub & Grub. I was tempted by their posted menu, but had been told by a local that her favorite was back on Main Street, so off I went…

 Holly - Bittersweet Cafe

I was so glad I listened, because I can't imagine a better lunch than I had that day at the Bittersweet Cafe. I was in the mood for a sandwich and salad combo and while I figured it would be good, how special could that simple choice be? So I wasn't prepared for how totally delicious their ham sandwich was! I don't know how to describe it other than it just had the best look and taste of any ham I've ever had, thinly sliced and obviously as fresh and lean as could be. I wasn't hungry enough after that for their tempting looking desserts, but don't miss this stop if you're in this cute little town.

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I'd love to hear your own experiences about places I've been - and what you think are "must-sees" - and I really value any suggestions and feedback from readers, so please let me have your 2 cents in Comments below: