The village of Ahmeek was a diamond in the ruff, a shining sample of civilization set apart from the metropolis sitting miles to the south. If you look at what remains here, in terms of a downtown district, you find a village that must have once been a bustling town. Its classification as a village and its subsequent freedom from a mine company’s paternalism allowed it to grow unrestricted. Stores sprung up to compete with the company stores at nearby locations; taverns spread like weeds on land not owned by the mines; and a plethora of other stores and services were born to meet the needs of nearby residents unwilling or unable to travel down to the Calumet metropolis.
Today, however, is a much different story. With the exception of a post office, a few antique stores, and a convenience store – nothing much is left along Ahmeek’s main street anymore. Most stores closed and were abandoned, some succumbing to the wrecking ball over the decades. But a few glimpses of the village’s more robust days can still be found in the buildings that remain. You just need to use a little imagination.
One of the larger buildings left in Ahmeek, this brick structure on the corner of Hubbell and 5 Mile Point Road was probably once the center of the downtown. Most likely once a grocery store, it now is home to an antique store. Across the street sits the building shown at the top of this post – which now houses the post office.
The marquee at the top of this old bar reads “Drink Royal Crown Cola”. This once proud building has survived the years with very little dignity still intact. It looks like the old red blocks along the facade (perhaps even sandstone, but they look a little to evenly cut) have been painted over in white (!?) on the second floor and with a faux rock facade on the first floor. It looks like a typical UP bar from the 70’s.
Besides the stone and brick buildings, there is also a selection of wood-framed types along the street. One of the nicer looking examples is here. Housing another antique shop, an updated storefront and facade has been added recently.
Sitting next door to the previous building, this wood framed antique it in remarkable decent shape. The storefront looks to be close to original, complete with the side door that leads to the upstairs residence. Originally, however, I beleive the windows would have been larger extending up to from the floor. The double doors is a detail seen very rarely in these wood framed stores.
We end on a high note by a look at this beauty. Wonderful kept and in great shape, this building brings up the very rear of the main street. It looks like the original wood awning was removed (if it had one) and the door was shrunk down. I don’t know how old this building is, but it looks like it could have been built a few years ago.