About the Area
The Rural Midwest At Its Best
Grayfield sits precisely at the intersection of two historically significant “Old Roads” – the Old Sauk Trail (now US-12, also known as “The Chicago Pike” and “Michigan’s Heritage Highway”) and the Old Main Line of the New York Central railroad, both of which played important roles in the westward expansion of early-to-mid-19th century America. Innumerable pioneer settlements grew up along this trail.
Norman Rockwell didn’t live here, but the area will remind you of the people and places he so appealingly captured on his canvases. This is the rural Midwest at is best – small towns and farming communities, rolling hills and winding roads, scenic lakes and rivers, a slower pace. You’ll still find traditional old hardware stores and diners in the towns. Amish farms, produce stands, and antique shops dot the local countryside. The County Fair in late September is still a highlight of the annual social scene.
Things haven’t changed much over the years in the old Village of Jonesville (c.1830, pop, 2,200). From Grayfield, it’s a short walk across the St. Joseph River and into town where guests will find a couple of good restaurants, a small bakery, a small live theatre, and one or two other inviting shops. A challenging little golf course is also within walking distance. And the surrounding countryside is perfect for long strolls, biking, and relaxing drives.
The tiny village of Allen, just five miles west of Jonesville on US-12, purports to be “The Antique Capitol of Michigan.” The town attracts treasure hunters from throughout the Midwest, and many a Grayfield guest has enjoyed a rummage through Allen’s renowned shops.
The town of Hillsdale (pop. 8,500), home to nationally acclaimed Hillsdale College, is just five miles south. Throughout the year, the College hosts highly competitive NCAA Division II athletic contests, stages entertaining concerts and plays, and hosts important and thought-provoking seminars and renowned speakers – all of which are open to the public. The town also boasts the Hillsdale Golf and Country Club, a charming and historic central business district, beautiful Lake Baw Beese (with public parks, boat launches, and beaches), cinemas, restaurants, and more.
If you can linger a little longer and are willing to venture out a bit further, you can plan day trips to Ann Arbor, Dearborn (home of the renowned Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum), tourist towns along Lake Michigan, or to Lansing, our State capitol.