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Small Town America in Hastings Michigan

Updated on June 15, 2011

Beautiful Courthouse


If you’ve ever wished to belong to a community that bands together for good times, then come and have a look at the small town of Hastings, Michigan! It has been named "One of the best 100 small towns in America", and for good reason. Let me share just a few things you will find when visiting this little town.

The old courthouse is sitting in front of the the new. The old one has the most beautiful wood finishing, all in highly polished Oak. In this building will be found the County Clerk and The County Treasurer’s Office. Finding the Court room with the current sitting Judge - Judge Fisher, just pray that you won’t have to go in front of him; if you do, that means a serious law has been broken.

New - 11-2-2010

As promised, I was able to get some pictures. These aren't mine (still not able to load them) but the Church took LOTS of great pictures and I wanted to shared them.

They had a 'Trunk or Treat' that was at the local funeral home with about 25 cars loaded with Candy and all those handing out were in great costumes. Someone generously provided Hot Dogs and drinks. I overheard one person say "These onions are cut to perfection!". We made our way in a line around the parking lot to each car then ended up at the camera man.

This seemed to be the starting point for trick or treating, once you went past this there were lots of house to hit. One nice family had coffee set out for the adults who were with the kids. There were plenty of adults this year. Another house had a mini-haunted area set up, as usual the people of Hastings went all out for Halloween! 

There was even an officer 'keeping the peace', though his job wasn't too difficult, everyone was just having a good time. 

Since we had little ones with us (the oldest being 3) we only made a small circuit around the block. Even as we left there were still plenty of trick or treaters coming around on all the streets. I'm waiting for the weekly newspaper to see if it was a record crowd this year!

Halloween in Hastings

At the time of this writing it is nearing Halloween, the entire town gets involved in this Holiday.  The decorations on the houses are absolutely amazing!  There is a contest every year to see who has the best.  There is one wonderfully decorated home after the other to view in spooky form.  Trick or Treating begins at 5:30 pm every year with children of all ages participating, some coming from other towns just for this very purpose.

There are volunteers to help the children cross at the proper points to avoid any accidents.  Even the adults get all dressed for the occasion, for doling out the candy, and scaring the visitors.  All the stores participate as well some keeping their doors open for these visitors.  Because the town is so safe, with adults watching out for the kids, some parents from other communities feel comfortable in dropping off their kids, with certain pick-up times and places.  Usually by 9 pm all trick or treaters have finished, there are a few stragglers making that last mad dash to doors for the candy so generously doled out.

After the Halloween decorations are put away, it will be time to get out the Christmas lights and the people of Hastings don’t skimp on that either.  Those that didn’t win the Halloween contest, will have another chance with Christmas.

Festivals for all Seasons

With every new season brings a new festival in this town. Spring fest, summer fest, fall fest, winter fest and then there are the few odd activities thrown in for fun. The festivals have tents upon tents around town and on the court house lawn. Serious shoppers will have 2 ½ days to spend looking for that perfect item (Friday thru Sunday). Clothes, jewelry, and crafts are just a few of the items to be found during the festivals. Out of 'towners' are welcome to bring their crafts and items to sell.

Once a year they have the ‘Women’s Night Out’, the Bars, Pubs and restaurants welcome those brave souls who want to make a ‘Pub crawl’. The micro brewery right in the middle of downtown is an excellent place to start. They have a large variety of beer that they make right on the premises. If you aren’t sure which brew is to your liking they will give you a sample of several different kinds. The food that is prepared in this Pub is of the highest quality!

The shops throughout the small town will welcome you with open arms, and all employees are very helpful in finding what it is that you desire. Even if it means sending you to another store. They include a family owned Ace hardware that will have just about anything that you could imagine wanting, it’s not your average hardware store. It spans almost an entire city block, with 3 different entrances.

Canoeing-Kayaking-Rafting we got it all!

If you find water is to your liking, there is a Canoe/Raft rental just off of the main drag. For a nominal fee they will load you into one of 2 vehicles a van or Hummer and take everyone to a drop off point at the Thornapple Lake near the mouth of the Thornapple River. There is an arrow pointing to the direction needed to go to get back to your vehicle. Having made your choice of flotation devices, a canoe for 2 that has seat back, a regular canoe, a kayak or rafts will be available. It will take a bit of muscle on your part to get into the actual river, but once there the rowing becomes much easier.

The river winds around twists and turns with plenty of sandy areas for stopping and having a picnic if that is your wish. There is no time limit on how long you can be on the river, just as long as you get back by dark. There are a few over hanging branches with some deeper water for those brave souls who have need of a good soaking. Just beware of the bee’s nests that sometimes find their way into the trees.

Plan on taking all day for this, not wanting to miss anything along the way. There might even be seen a cow or two coming to the water for a drink. Once reaching the train trestle you will know that your day will shortly end, not being far away from your vehicle. There will be the city park that will be passed, unless the need to stop and have your picnic is desired. There are pavilions and play areas for the kids. Across the park the bathroom facilities can be found, should you have the need.

Once reaching the end of your trip, you will be assisted by the friendly people who took you to your starting point. They will help you out of the water and take up your canoe, raft or kayak.

No need to miss a good movie!

For your evening pleasure, if the Pubs are not to your liking, you may find taking in a movie is something enjoyed. Hastings has within their small town a Movie Theater that has 4 Movie screens. These are all first run Movies. Upon entering a friendly staff will greet you, that is efficient in getting your ticket and then snacks if desired. For those who are students, will receive a ‘student’ discount.

The most expensive ticket is $6.50, that is Adult evening tickets. Senior citizens are charged $4.50, and students $5.00. The Adult matinee is $5.00, so they not only have good movies but make it affordable as well. After purchasing your drinks once, the refills are free. Popcorn refills are a mere 25 cents (plus tax).

show route and directions
A markerHastings Mi -
Hastings, MI 49058, USA
get directions

B marker805 W Apple St, Hastings, MI 49058 -
805 W Apple St, Hastings, MI 49058, USA
get directions

C marker1009 W Green St, Hastings, MI 49058 -
1009 W Green St, Hastings, MI 49058, USA
get directions

D marker213 w. State Street, 49058 -
213 W State St, Hastings, MI 49058, USA
get directions

Let's hope you don't need it - but if you do, it's very good!

Should you have need of an Emergency Room, a quick visit to Pennock Hospital will get you fixed right up! For a small town they have the newest equipment and are always improving on their service. The hospital staff is very friendly and work their hardest to get you the needed care. If by chance, traveling up to the second floor you might just get to view one of Hastings newest residents! 4 of this writers grandchildren have been born in this hospital and they have done their absolute best in making sure that the health and well being of the children come first.

When passing through the West side of the State of Michigan, make time to stop and enjoy some of the pleasures that you will find in the little town of Hastings.


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    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Michigan

      It is a very nice little town, I love all the activities they have. There is something going on at least every other weekend! Michigan, it's where my heart is! I love this State.

    • frogyfish profile image


      5 years ago from Central United States of America

      I've lived several places in the USA but have never been to Michigan. Your town sounds like a great place to live!

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Michigan

      Well - you are very welcome!!

    • hballard profile image


      6 years ago from Arizona

      Excellent description, of an awesome town. Im originally from Arizona, and that's where I live now, but I actually lived in Hastings, MI for a few months! It wasn't for very long, but I got to know the area and the people fairly well, and I really enjoyed my time there!

      Recently I worked for a local power company, and found out something interesting. Hastings is actually home to a factory that makes a lot of the parts and tools that a lot of power companies use. Pretty cool.

      Anyway, thanks for the article! Brought back some good memories.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks! You should have heard me when I got the email! Now I know why Ed McMahon has never come to my door, he's afraid! My daughter kept saying "Mom, you're gonna wake up the baby" I hooted an hollered all over the place.

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      7 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

      CONGRATULATIONS! I saw you in the list of Winners on Hub Marks the Spot! Write on Sweetsusieg!

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Susieg: I was not offended, Nothing anyone could ever say to me could ever offend me. I simply wanted you to know that I am who I say I am. Can't Hide it from God dear.

      I'll check out the contests.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      There are weekly contests and daily contests - You will find them in the forums, "HubPages marks the spot". follow the links for contest rules. There are various subject in which to write. I did win on this Hub yesterday - GO ME!! not sure how or why, just glad that I did!

      I didn't mean to offend you, I was just trying to help! Yes, your name is Dave! Good luck!

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      sweetsusieg: WRONG! My name is Dave Mathews no pretence or anonymity here with me. Exactly the opposite. What you read and see is what you get. I AM, the real me,Dave.

      What contests are you referring to Sweetsusieg? I'm not aware of any contests. Could you please expand on what you are eluding to? If it is the 30/30, Hub writing contests, I don't know if I know enough about any one subject or series of subjects to write about, nor do I know how long an article has to be or any of the particulars for the contests.

      Brother Dave.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you, it was my pleasure! I was hoping they would do a contest like that so I could tell about this town. I just love it! I drove through yesterday and noticed 2 house with decorations going up, I'm going to have to get some pics to put on here!

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 

      7 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Lovely place. I loved the tour thru' your hub. Many thanks for sharing. Congrats too on the win!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I love small towns! We decided to leave the hustle and bustle of Seattle, WA for quieter Central Oregon 4 years ago, and I've never looked back.

      There is such a charm to small town America. You've really captured that in this hub. I'd love to see Hastings, MI some day. Thumbs up!

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you, it is a really great place to live and the people are very friendly.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      This is a lovely introduction to Hastings- which sounds like a truly charming place!

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Oh Dave what a wonderful place you live!! I really need to get to know the farmers in my area, I would much rather have farm grown beef, pork, chicken (never had lamb) than the hormone fed crud you find in the grocery stores. I do manage to get farm fresh eggs from friends. There is a place nearby that I wanted to write an article about called 'Mooville'. My daughter borrowed the batteries to my camera, so I couldn't get a picture yesterday when passing by.

      Have you entered the contests? Sounds to me like you have something there Dave! I know that this name you write under is for evangelical purposes, maybe you could create another for 'other' things? You write very good!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      sweetsusieg: Thank you for introducing me to your town of Hastings. Strange but we have a quaint little farming town here in Ontario called Hastings too. Population 2,500. I was introduced to this area by my dad, years ago. This is where dad grew up, and many of the older farmers, and their family still know and remember Dad. Boy do I hear stories about my dad I'm not supposed to know about.

      This is where I go when it is time to stock up the freezer with our beef and pork and chicken,and lamb, and of course my smokes. Yes I smoke.

      The key secret for meats is to get to know which farmer or farmers, in the area has the best of what your needing and deal with him exclusively, then call ahead so he can be ready to deal when you get to town, or drive up to his farm. Some of the farmers, if they know you well enough, will even call you to let you know when stock or produce is ready.

      Of course there is also the freshest of produce items like various berries, in season, and fresh fruits as they come in season too.

      It's part of an Indian reservation area about 40 miles from Toronto, where I live, and sports some of the best fishing spots for pickerel and bass so obviously as an avid fisherman, I'm there quite a bit throughout the year.

      I'm not a regular resident of this little town but since I've been visiting it for years, the folks know me to see me, and are very friendly to me. Some of the shop owners even offer me insider specials not available to the general public.

      I really enjoy being able to go to an area where I can buy meats,fruits,berries and vegetables fresh, in really large quantities to either enjoy fresh, or perserve or freeze in bulk for later and do so at a really reasonable price, not supermarket prices.

      One other special advantage of this little town, because it is on an Indian reservation area, Gasoline is far cheaper, as the Indians do not charge the taxes to their customers, for what is on their lands, gas included.

      Brother Dave.

    • Sweetsusieg profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Dorothee-Gy - Well come on!! What's keepin' ya? I've been watching, as soon as the decorations go up I will be posting some pictures! It's still a little early for that.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Dorothee-Gy profile image


      7 years ago from near Frankfurt/M., Germany

      Hi, Sweetsusieg, thanks for this hub! Makes me want to pack my stuff and start travelling for small town USA right away! I'd love to see the Halloween decoration, I'm really a fan of all that whimsy stuff, and I love the fall colors! Thanks again, you painted a beautiful picture here...


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