The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

2009.07.15 I went to Hell and survived to tell

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY


“Hell is only half full

Room for you and me”

                 – Warren Zevon


If I remember my history correctly, it was Sir Edmund Hillary who answered “Because it’s there” when asked why he climbed Mount Everest. Or maybe it was some other famous person’s reply to a similar query. In any case, that kind of sums up why I spent last Tuesday visiting Hell, Michigan.

I’ve already visited Moscow (Michigan), Brazil (Indiana), and Lebanon (Missouri). Like the old Hoyt Axton song says, I’ve never been to Spain, but I’ve been to Oklahoma. Come to think of it, back in the mid-1980s, I even visited Paradise, Michigan. Why not do the flip side and go to Hell, Michigan, too? Especially since it’s so close. One of the internet map sites says it’s only a one-hour drive from Adrian.

A year or two ago, Chevrolet put out a calendar featuring a different recording artist each month, photographed in some interesting scenic place. Singing duo Big and Rich were shown in front of the Hell Country Store in Hell. That added a little push to my desire to visit. Armed with the online maps, a gazetteer and someone else to do the driving, it was off to find, with apologies to AC/DC, the highway to Hell. 

Actually, the road to Hell almost ended in Adrian. While stopped at a red light near the old courthouse, a policeman got out of his patrol car and approached a suspicious-looking box on the courthouse lawn. Figuring he’d probably call for backup, I’m sure I probably flinched when he poked at the box with his foot. When that move didn’t kill us all, he turned over what proved to be an empty container and was carrying it off when the light changed.

From that point, the trip was rather uneventful until we were well past Chelsea. Then, the internet directions started to go downhill, an appropriate direction considering where we were headed.

First, we discovered the road to Hell is not always paved. Then another road did not appear where it was supposed to be. At that point, we abandoned the internet directions and turned to the gazetteer for guidance. Considerably over an hour from Adrian, we rolled into Hell, almost hitting a dog running loose near the “Welcome to Hell” sign. Yes, we nearly killed one of the hounds of Hell. Amazingly, the temperature was in the mid-70s, almost the proverbial “cold day in Hell.”

We quickly found the Hell Country Store, which wasn’t all that hard because “downtown” Hell only has about four buildings. Going inside, I saw a copy of the Big and Rich calendar page near the cash register. I was tempted to ask how they arrived for the photo shoot. I can’t believe that Chevrolet had them fly into Detroit, then spend half a day lost on twisting country roads. I’m guessing they probably took a helicopter from the airport. If I ever had to go back, that’s how I’d do it.

The store had several interesting looking souvenirs in the windows, but not much for sale inside. The cashier said that they had been really busy over the Fourth of July weekend and had sold out of a lot of items. Going to Hell for the Fourth of July? Apparently, some people really are more desperate for entertainment than me.

I finally purchased one of the several designs of bumper stickers that were still available. They were sitting next to an empty shelf labeled “Maps, $6.66.”

Actually, the most appropriate souvenir was free: a book of matches advertising the store. Not only do you almost never see free matches anymore, what could be a more fitting remembrance of Hell than a book of fire starters?

We decided against visiting the business next door, which features a miniature golf course out behind the building. Yes, if you were wondering, there is golf in Hell.

About a mile east of town, there’s a buffalo ranch, but the signs say that it’s in Pinckney, which is actually quite a distance away. Apparently, potential customers aren’t excited by the prospect of buying buffalo from Hell.

Driving back through town on our journey back to civilization, the little Hell hound made one last attempt at getting in our way, but we missed him a second time and began our roundabout jaunt back to M-52.

After this experience, I probably won’t be visiting any more towns just because of the name, except for, maybe, Truth or Consequences (New Mexico),  96 (South Carolina), or perhaps, Intercourse (Pennsylvania). Could they possibly be as boring as Hell?’

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016