It was a day of remembrance, but not because of war heroes but for the people who once called the small town of Spruce home.
Over Memorial Day weekend, spruce held their first annual event called Spruce Country Days to remember the agriculture, and history of the little Northeast Michigan town.
If you blink you’d probably miss Spruce, but not anymore. A group of women called the Loyal Ladies were inspired to bring back the town they call home unveiling window clings to abandon buildings that once had Spruce booming with business.
Wanting to give back to Alcona County, Cyndi Apsey brought the idea, and her photography to life.
“When I came to this area, it’s a very community area, and a very comforting area, and I’ve always wanted to give back to the area. This was the ultimate goal when this idea first started coming together of having this community event…that was the giving back, because this town is full of people, wonderful smells, wonderful sounds, laughter and that’s what we wanted,” Apsey said.
One of Apsey’s photos seen hanging as a window cling includes her granddaughter’s horse, Trout. Little Liberty also has an eye for the camera.
“I was 1-years-old when Trout was born, and 9-years-old when I took the picture. I named her Trout because she was born on the opening day of Trout season,” Kimball said.
A native of Spruce, Glen Thompson remembered his father and grandfather owning Thompson sales and service.
“It was great to see kind of a reunion for everyone to come back and see old friends and all of the old-timers. Like the one guy who brought in a tractor that was first bought in 1946 from my grandfather,” Thompson said.
A shocking fact, Spruce was once bigger than Alpena.
“Spruce was bigger than Alpena at one time. Everything came off of Lake Huron through Spruce and then went back up to Spruce Road and in the back way of Alpena. When trains started going up over the coast Alpena got bigger and ships started going in there. This all started with timber, and was a big logging community where everyone had to come get their supplies and groceries, so there’s a lot of history here,” Thompson explained.
As for Spruce, hopefully more people will tell the story of the small town that has so much history.
“There’s a lot of history here, someday hopefully somebody will write a book about it,” Thompson told the crowd.