What Every Small Town In Michigan Had In The 1930s. It Was A Simpler Time.
Nearly 100 years ago, the 1930s was a simpler time without televisions, computers, or smartphones. A time when everyone knew everybody and neighbors helped each other. Let’s take a glimpse into the life of 1930s small-town Michigan and what things have changed today.
1. Gas stations with filling station attendants
In the 1930s, it was unheard of to pump your own gas. Filling station attendants, also known as gas jockeys, would primarily pump gas, clean windshields, and check the oil levels in vehicles.
2. Working lighthouses
While not every town had one, Michigan is home to the most lighthouses in the United States thanks to our wonderful Great Lakes. There are 129 remaining in the state as some have fallen into disrepair and abandoned. But in the 1930s many lighthouses were still actively used.
3. Quaint mom-and-pop shops
With big box stores supplying most of our needs today, mom-and-pop shops were the main way you would purchase everyday essentials. Whether it was a general store, hardware store, or grocery store, mom-and-pop shops were vital to local Michigan communities.
4. Charming main streets
Small-town stores needed to set up shop somewhere and that place was your local downtown. Can you imagine shopping for birthday and Christmas gifts for loved ones on a thriving old-fashioned main street?
The past can be romanticized but one thing that will take you back to reality is the thought of walking in the snow to an outhouse in February. We can be grateful for indoor plumbing, hot water, and flushing toilets nowadays!
Another backyard staple of every household was a clothesline for drying your laundry. Dryers weren’t common until the 1960s when they made doing the wash much faster. However, nothing beats the smell of freshly line–dried sheets out in the Michigan summer sun.
7. One-Room Schoolhouses
Students ranging from first to eighth grade would be in attendance in a one-room schoolhouse. A school bell would ring throughout the town for students and parents to hear at the start of the school day.
What is your favorite memory of growing up in Michigan back in the day? Let us know in the comments below. While it is fun to feel nostalgic for a simpler time, things were also harder back then. Read about the year It Was So Cold In Michigan, Temperatures Were Well Below Freezing.
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.