Pieces of our distant, and not so distant, past. Real people, real stories that made local headline news, touched our hearts, made us laugh or cry. Several more will publish often. We'd love your suggestions of other memories to include on these pages.


When it comes to outdoor recreation, Mancelona and the nearby area has something for you. Groomed snowmobile trails, cross-country and downhill skiing, snowmobile race events, morel mushroom hunting, hunting, walking trails, biking, golf, swimming, boating, and biking. Spend a day visiting our natural areas and scenic overlooks, or fishing with Grandpa at Mancelona Village's Johnson's Pond, south end of Danforth Street. fishing with gpa


APRIL 23, 1995 - A LOOK BACK

Twenty-eight years ago, on April 23, 1995, Mancelona's gas explosion rocked our small community.  Out of the ashes and many setbacks, the community pushed forward with determination to not only survive, but to rebuild stronger.

Here is a look back at some of the photos and articles from that day.  (This article published 4/21/2023) 

1995 04 23 Explosion downtown Mancelona N Maple facing east

1995 04 23 Explosion downtown Mancelona On State Street Facing 131 triangle park

1995 April May following Mancelona explosion downtown State Street


1995 April TCRE Gas Explosion Jolts Mancelona article       1995 ACN picking up the pieces IMG 15951995 April TCRE Editorial Human Spirit1995 April on 131 facing west to State Street and S Maple and town Triangle IMG 1602

1995 April May following Mancelona explosion Downtown triangle park


The April 23, 1995 natural gas explosion had many residents counting their blessings. No one was seriously injured, and there was no loss of life.  The emergency personnel couldn't 1995 ACN picking up the pieces IMG 1595have done more.  The owners of Johnson's Furniture Store, Wayne and Kathie Johnson, were comforted by the support they received within the community.  


This editorial column appeared in an April, 1995 issue of the Traverse City Record-Eagle following the natural gas explosion. On a Sunday afternoon, Alden Lumber Company didn't ask where to send the bill.  Instead, they sent employees after hours to deliver hundreds of sheets of OSB board to the downtown district, where volunteers put on hard-hats, rolled up their sleeves, and began securing businesses that were left vulnerable when their storefronts were blown open. Shattered glass filled 1995 April TCRE Editorial Human Spirit the roadway and sidewalks.  Fire district auxiliary members made soup, brewed coffee and delivered sandwiches to the hundred or more workers, law enforcement officers and firefighters who remained on scene cleaning up and keeping watch on the fire, which smoldered for days.  Antrim County's emergency service mobile unit, then directed by Bill Drollinger, remained on scene for days, while they offered any support that was needed. The Mancelona community came together for one another, counting their blessings, and slowly moved forward.  


The Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad arrived at Mancelona in 1872. The government had granted the Railroad Company every odd numbered section of land for six miles on each side of its right-of-way to help defray the expense of opening the wilderness.Mancelona railway 1800s