TBT: Spikehorn Meyers and His Bears

Clare Harrison MI Spikehorn Meyers Clare County MI RPPC 1930's-40's M77

Clare Harrison MI Spikehorn Meyers Clare County MI, photo by Don…The UpNorth Memories Guy

Here’s a Throwback Thursday featuring one of Northern Michigan’s most colorful characters:

Harrison’s most colorful character was John “Spikehorn” Meyers, known to thousands of Michigan residents simply as Spikehorn. He was a showman, naturalist, politician, coal miner, tile manufacturer, furniture builder, inventor, realtor, bear hunter, lumberjack, and above all, individualist. The old gentleman had a fertile imagination under his white thatch of hair and full white beard.

According to neighbors, Spikehorn’s interest in the woods and buckskins developed around 1930, when he opened his Bear and Deer Park established on his property at the corner of US-27 and M-61. Rumor has it the park even contained an occasional buffalo.

Spikehorn and his friend, Red Eagle, dressed in buckskins for tourists and treated them to tales of their adventures in the woods. He enjoyed feeding his pets sweets, popcorn, and pop and loved posing with his deer and bears for cameras.

His enemies were the Conservation Officers, as indicated by the sign in front of his business: “Feed Conservation Officers to the Bear.”

Spikehorn also appears in one of the best Michigan history videos, Roaming Through Michigan, a classic newsreel.

View John’s photo big as a bear and see more in his Spikehorn Meyers & Harrison MI slideshow.

Tons more history and more roadside attractions on Michigan in Pictures!