The Overlooked Michigan Community of Big Prairie
The community of Big Prairie lies appropriately in Big Prairie Township within Newaygo County.
The township's big claim to fame is the Hardy Dam, built between 1929-1931. The village doesn't show up on many maps anymore, but that shouldn't stop you from driving through someday.
This little burg was created as a postal stop near the Muskegon River, possibly as early as 1852. The town did not grow much, but soon it had its own church, mill, and surrounding schoolhouses. On the corner, straight across the street from the church, the mill was later turned into a general store. These days, it's a residence.
S. Elm Street goes right through Big prairie; heading south, there's an historic farmhouse a ways down, just before you get to the Big Prairie Township Hall. And of course, visit the Hardy Dam on your visit.
It's another swept-aside historic Michigan community that should be recognized more often. I hope you'll take a roadtrip over there sometime this year. Check out the photos below...