Saturday, November 29, 2014

Up A Creek Without a Name (Worst Headline Ever)

Does anyone know if the little tributary off Thread Lake that runs southerly through Flint Golf Club, then must run through an underground culvert starting at E. Atherton, and reemerges just south of E. Hemphill Road, has a name? Because if it doesn't, I'm going to name it Gordie Creek.


  1. I dunno about your name-use standards, Gordie, but the watercourse in question originates in one of two known hazardous waste burial areas from the old Fisher Body plant, then runs through and drains storm runoff from the other one under Windiate Park. One mile total length, two hazardous waste sites. Not too good.

  2. You know these Flint perverts though, so proud of their high murder and arson rates. Tell them there is an unnamed creek that drains two hazardous waste sites and the creeps will be lining up for naming rights.

    Gordie Creek is a fine name, but I prefer Don Williamson's Rancid Run.

  3. Torrey Hammerberg XIINovember 29, 2014 at 6:38 PM

    Somehow, the name Farnumwood Drain sticks in my distant memory. Or perhaps it was called the West Branch of Thread Creek. Many of these were originally Drains to make land usable for farming, and had the name of the farmer or landowner that drained the land. Carman Creek was originally Gibson Drain, beginning in Grand Blanc Township and ending in Swartz Creek Golf Course. Sherwood Drain is a Branch of Gibson Drain. Maybe the Genesee County Drain Commission would have maps with the name of the drain. Sounds like a song, "The (Drain) Name Game". I bet you I can make a rhyme, out of anybody's Drain...

  4. Torrey Hammerberg XIINovember 29, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Here's a link to a Genesee County Plat Map from 1924. Very interesting. The Creek or Drain extends to the east after the portion South of Hemphill reemerges, but it still has no name. I've been through the desert on a drain with no name...

    Zoom in and wait for details to load.

  5. I thought it was one of your better titles, but "Gordie Creek," needs lots of work. Moving from catch-phrases to music titles, (Apologies to U-2) how about, "Creek With No Name?"

  6. Torrey Hammerberg XIINovember 30, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    From the above link, you can see that Atherton Road clearly extended beyond Van Slyke Rd. (For some reason, later cartographer Fred F. Johnson had it spelled "Van Slyck Road" on some of his earlier maps.). Torrey Rd. then veered to the South to form the present North South Torrey Rd. Rablee Rd. took off of that road that changed direction to head North to Miller Rd, east of the Rablee property shown on the Plat Map.

    Another memory would suggest that the Drain that went underground at Atherton was called Bendle Drain South of Hemphill. Since it veered off toward one of the schools and subdividisions, it probably drained the Bendle area and the Genesee County Farm.

    All this contemplation led me to a third parody song, "The Drain, The Park, and Other Things".

  7. All toxins aside, it would be fun to do a little kayaking or canoeing on Thread Lake and the Flint River this summer.

  8. My husband, John, as a boy was all over Thread Lake. He says it was called Thread Creek. He lived on Belvidere/Greenley. He was always fishing from a make shift boat and watching for the police. Somebody always had to call them.

  9. Torrey Hammerberg XIIApril 18, 2015 at 10:27 PM

    I found this map link of Census Tracts from the 1940 Census. There are considerable differences in the planning of the Southwest corner of Flint, This includes streets and street extensions and subdivisions that were never built, different named streets, etc. The Berry Patch and Westgate Park 1 and 2, and Westgate Park Estates areas are completely different. The other major difference is that "Wickler Avenue" extends from the bridge near Lincoln Drive and Cambridge in the older Woodcroft subdivision and Swartz Creek Golf Course all the way to Hemphill Rd. without interruption. The Northern part of Wickler Ave. is a block or so West of present day Hammerberg Rd. "Wickler" is nearly illegible, but there are 29 people by that name in Michigan according to one website. Glendale Hills appears much the same, as do the oldest areas as expected.


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