In Otsego County lies the Michigan ghost town of Sparr.

It's referred to as a 'shadow town' because it's a shell of what it used to be.

Sparr was named after Phillip Sparr, who came to the area in 1873. The town eventually got itself a depot in 1913 along the Gaylord & Alpena Railroad.

The little town grew and soon a neighborhood of small homes - shacks, basically - built with tarpaper lined the roads. From these homes came the lumbermen and timber workers from the Sailing Hansen Lumber Company. Thanks to the lumber trade, more establishments popped up: church/schoolhouse, general/grocery store, hotel, post office and saloon.

In 1925, a structure was built which is now known as the "Sparr Mall", and is lovingly known as the "thing to see" when you drive through Sparr. It looks kinda like an old barn and is NOTHING like the current malls. The Sparr Mall is filled with hunting paraphernalia and snack delicacies like jerky, pork rinds, candy, pop, beer, booze, pickled sausages, Slim Jims, ice cream, etc.....maybe even a Moon Pie if ya look hard enough.

The Sparr Mall is such a campy fun spot that there are groups that get their pictures taken there, like class group photos, wedding parties, etc.

So even though the town of Sparr is a faint shadow of the brawling lumber town it once was, the Sparr Mall is there to visit, and the old schoolhouse is just west down the road to check out. The Dover Township Hall is also a photo op, located about 2 1/2 miles north (SEE PHOTOS).

Add this historic little Michigan town to your roadtrip itinerary!


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