Tragic Fire in Holly, Michigan

We have enjoyed going to Holly for many years. Attending the Detroit Model Railroad Club open house during Thanksgiving weekend was an annual event for us until our children were grown. The Dickens Festival, with many attractions along Battle Alley including a live presentation of “The Christmas Carol”, was always a favorite.

Arcade Antique Mall on Battle Alley in Holly, Michigan.

I looked forward to walking through Arcade Antiques. Though some might have found the small spaces uncomfortable, the atmosphere was part of the attraction to me. An incredible amount of antiques were displayed throughout the building with a wide variety of choices. Part of the draw to a place like this is finding things we had growing up that are now considered antiques.

Main hall of the Arcade Antique Mall, Holly, Michigan.

I especially loved “main street”, which was essentially the middle aisle. Designed to have the appearance of a collection of stores and attractions in an old city, the lights, sounds, and smells took us back to a time long ago. We were completely immersed in our love for antiques.

Arcade Antiques stood next to the Historic Holly Hotel on the corner of Battle Alley and South Broad Street. Although we never stayed at the Holly Hotel, we had lunch there once, and going into the hotel was always interesting. There are published stories supporting suspicions that the hotel is haunted.

The Christmas Season is a wonderful time to visit Holly. Battle Alley Coffee, on the corner of South Saginaw Street and Battle Alley, has one of the best peppermint mochas I’ve ever had. The coffee shop is a very comfortable place for a hot beverage, and even includes a puzzle table for visitors to enjoy. There are many coffee related items for sale in the shop. Customers come and go, but many find the couches and chairs too much to resist and linger while sipping their favorite drink.

The loss of Arcade Antiques, the Historic Holly Hotel, Andy’s Place, and the Moose Lodge will be felt by Holly residents and patrons for many years to come. Sadly, the businesses were destroyed by fire just a few days ago. First responders, fire departments, and fire rescue teams from many towns and villages rushed to Holly to join forces with those battling to stop the fire.

Fire teams from “Fenton, Fenton Township, Holly, Linden, the North Oakland County Fire Authority, Oxford, Groveland, Milford, Grand Blanc, White Lake, Springfield, Highland, Independent, Troy, Rochester, and Oakland Regional” worked into the night. (

The fine folks of Holly, business owners, community leaders, residents and friends will work together to rebuild. New buildings will not, however, remove the feeling of loss when memories of visits to Holly come drifting back.

Our thoughts and prayers for all who have been affected by the fire will continue. Holly will come roaring back, I’m sure.

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