HISTORIC MICHIGAN: The Saloon That Carrie Nation Smashed Up
One of Michigan’s most historic streets is located in Holly, eastern Michigan.
Carrie Nation visited here back in 1908 and smashed up the saloon in the Holly Hotel. Carrie (1846–1911) was a radical member of the temperance movement and vehemently against alcohol or anyone who drank it. She would travel from town-to-town smashing saloons with her trusty hatchet. Also, she suspected president William McKinley to be a drinker and actually applauded when he was assassinated by saying “drinkers get what they deserve”.
Now…why is this alley called “Battle Alley”? According to the historical marker found there:
“This historic district was once the scene of frequent brawls. In 1880, an uproar between local rowdies and workers of a traveling circus rendered so many bruised, beaten and jailed, that this street was thus named Battle Alley. Carry A. Nation, ‘Kansas saloon smasher,’ came to Holly on August 28, 1908, at the request of the local prohibition committee. Wielding her umbrella, she strode through the alley’s bars bellowing about the ‘Demon Rum’ and its sins.”
“Battle Alley” is just that…an alley that runs east-west, connecting S. Saginaw and S. Broad streets…the Battle Alley area is also referred to as a vintage ghost town site and has cool little shops up and down that you’ll get a kick out of...and the Holly Hotel itself is reportedly haunted.
Check it out for yourself, at 105 Battle Alley in Holly!