Michigan is such a great state when it comes to roadside oddities and off-the-wall sites. Here’s something to see on your Michigan roadtrip: the New Era potato chip Silo in Portland.

New Era potato chips were founded in Detroit in the 1920’s and became a state classic chip…and later a nationally famous chip. The design on the bag is now an icon of Michigan snacks.

Along with New Era, Detroit was home to no less than 40 brands of potato chips, including Better Made, Vita Boy, Krun-Chee, Evercrisp, Superior, Wolverine, Mello Krisp and others. But New Era was a favorite that lasted for many years, beating out all others except Better Made, which is supposedly the last Detroit potato chip still standing.

So is there a backstory? Well, yeah.

The silo was constructed as a regular feed storage unit back in the 1940s by farm owner Isadore Shrauben. According to his son (as reported in the Portland Beacon), Isadore was offered $99 per year if the company could paint their logo on his silo (that's all? A measley $99?). He agreed – but when it was decided to put an expressway through, the company quit paying. The silo was re-painted over in grey but rain washed the paint off. It was eventually re-re-painted in 2005 with the New Era logo, thanks to a family member. It was re-re-re-painted with the logo in 2013.

So stop for a photo-op at Portland’s New Era potato chip silo, located on E. Grand River Avenue, one mile south of I-96 off Exit 77…add it to your roadtrip and get over there this year!

And while you're there, check out downtown Portland...you'll find blocks of historic old buildings still in use. Many interesting little shops to visit!



Abandoned Deer Forest & Story Book Lane

America's Oldest Still-Operating Depot, Jackson

Bill Knapp's Michigan Gravesite

99.1 WFMK logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app



More From 99.1 WFMK