Monday, February 1, 2010

Flint Photos: Winter Scenes from the Seventies

The backyard of my grandparents' house at 1515 Illinois Avenue with Hubie the dog.

Hubie in action again on Illinois Avenue next to the Wilson's convertible. Remember when shoveling snow seemed fun?

Breaking out the plaid jacket and the Champion sled on a cold day at Kearsley Park.

Fighting for survival in frigid conditions on the East Side.


  1. Did you go see your grandparents house again when you were in Flint visiting? How is the condition of it? Did you take any photos?


  2. The Champion sled is here in my closet in Jacksonville, FL and very unhappy and lonesome for the hills of Kearsley Park. I too, long to see if the secret paths I explored as a child are still there. I know that Flint will come back from its difficult times as the people are tough and will prevale. I hope they preserve and restore Kearsley Park back to the way it was full of happy exploring kids and baseball games. Maybe they will even restore the swimming pool.

  3. I did go back to Illinois Avenue and the house my mom grew up in is looking great. The current owner is a teacher in the Flint area and she has lived there since my grandmother died in the eighties. So that house has had only two, or at most three, owners.

  4. My fiance and I recently purchased and remodeled a home on Wisconsin and I can say there are definitely kids (of all ages) still enjoying sledding the hill at Kearsley Park! In the summer and fall there were many baseball/softball games and soccer games. Unfortunately, we were called out of town for work during Shakespeare in the Park, but we'll definitely make sure to catch it this summer!
    I have a few friends who have also recently purchased homes in the neighborhood and we're adding onto a core group of homeowners who putting forth an effort to restore the area.

  5. LeighAnne,

    Tell us more if you want to. Always good to hear about people buying houses and helping Flint. What was your homebuying process like?

  6. We had been working with a real estate agent, looking at houses mostly on the East Side and some parts around Fenton and Atherton. All foreclosures or bank owned homes. What a run-around. We put in around 10-15 cash offers that were refused or out-bid by investors. We finally found our home on craigslist of all places.
    The first time we toured the house we met four of our future neighbors who were gathered outside discussing and informing the other residents about the upcoming neighborhood block clean up. It was nice to see people involved in making the street better. They introduced themselves and were excited at our interest in the house. This was a welcomed change from the dirty looks we got in other parts of town.

    Thanks for showing some pictures of what the area looked like back in its prime! Hopefully Flint will get back to where people take pride in their homes and their neighborhoods.

  7. Thanks for sharing, all. Grew up at 2314 Ohio Street. Spent many a day at Kearsley. Good memories. =^)


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at