Social activity in Croswell happens along both the riverside downtown as well as in rural schools, shops and fields. Historical and new traditions continue to shape areas of live, work and play.

Courteney Gazdik
Nathan LeBlanc
Maxwell Mohring
Nicholas Persuki
Jacob Smith

Croswell, Michigan is a homey place of active outdoor and indoor community gathering spaces. Since the days of the earliest settlements in the early 1860s (then called Davisville), people of Croswell made the activity in the saw mills and along the railroads both into hard work and social gathering events. When forest fires caused timber industries to turn into farmland, businesses and open space was created along the Black River and between existing railroad and dirt roads.

One of the favorite pastimes of early Eighteenth Century Croswell was the lounges on the second story of barbershops. Along with the social nature of getting clean cuts and shaves and joining in with the barbershop quartets, these were perhaps some of the earliest forms of Midwest mixed-use buildings. Second-story libraries, study and hangout places gave the people and visitors of Croswell a place to read, learn and socialize.

Along with the growth of shops, restaurants and parks and sports fields, classic places of social mixing have had over a century of lively, small town spirit. Although the urban pattern through natural ecologies and early zoning has shaped much of longevity of the town, there are opportunities to bring Croswell up to speed with modern necessities. In many instances, residents found themselves traveling out of town for these. Even though they may have a small market and clinic central in town, often residents have to drive far distances. Croswell was completely lacking regularly visited places like clothes shops, nail salons, or even hotels. This creates issues for the residents living there and begins to make Croswell more of a nostalgic destination for visitors.

Croswell has a few unique things that attract tourists from all over. One of the main attractions is the “Be Good to Your Mother-in-Law” Swinging Bridge. When people come for this attraction they find themselves exploring other parts of the river-split town like kayaking, going to the park or stopping at local bars and restaurants. The graphics show highlights of the experience that an average person would participate in when visiting Croswell as well as the frequency and regularity of social engagement. Striking up a conversation with walkers and bikers would reveal that most who visit the publicly accessible attractors are from out of town.

By identifying patterns of social zones, built forms and signage, newcomers can see evidence of a fine-tuned, small city of friends and comrades. Greeted with the smell of sugar beets and filled with wonderful residents, guests and natural places to explore, Croswell is a network of endless, small-town adventure.

︎Previous                 Next ︎