Hart’s Market

Our grandfather, Myron Hart, generally known as Mike, moved up north to the tiny town of Millersburg, Michigan, with his second wife, Dorothy Junth, in the late 1940s. They bought a grocery/general store on Main Street, formerly known as Whitsitt’s Cash Market. The store was renamed Hart’s Market, and Mike and Dorothy lived in the upstairs apartment. After Grandpa died in 1961, Dorothy sold the store & moved back to Detroit. In 1997 the building burned, leaving only the storage area in the rear usable. Today the Millersburg Mini Mart /Citgo gas station stands on the spot with the surviving storeroom still in use.

Though little remains of Hart’s Market, our time spent there in childhood is one of the fonder memories of Mike’s grandchildren and their cousins. We roamed the aisles of the store and visited the attached creamery to watch the centrifugal separator whirl off cream from the milk brought in by local farmers. Driving Grandpa’s tractor and shooting at tin cans in the back yard were favorite pastimes. Across the street from the store stood a vintage fire pumper (now on display around the corner in front of the modern fire station) and two very large metal animal cages, which we thought of as jails and used as props for our childish adventures. Also nearby and a favorite place to visit were the Ocqueoc (Ocky Ock) Falls, the only waterfalls in Michigan’s lower peninsula. In the evenings Grandpa liked to take us out in the car looking for deer and bear. My mother never forgot her shock when on one of these excursions Grandpa suddenly stopped the car, leapt out and charged into the brush after a bear he had spotted. Luckily the bear was long gone. Although I never visited Millersburg in winter, photos from one of my cousins show that the snowfall could be formidable, no doubt the real reason for Grandpa having a tractor.

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