September 09, 2009 Though the end result was an unexpected and ironic tragedy, the valiant effort to save and restore the historic grandstands at Imlay City's Grettenberger Field is something the community can be proud of.
When it looked the like grandstands were going to be leveled by the wrecking ball, the Imlay City Schools Alumni Association launched a project to save the historic structure. The grandstands were built in the 1930s by a local Works Pro-gress Administration crew, a federal program designed to create jobs during the Great Depression.
Over the ensuing 70 years, thousands of baseball fans watched their favorite area players pitch, hit and run from those grandstands.
When time eventually eroded the wooden structure to the point of dangerous disrepair, a literal 'grass roots' effort to save the stands was launched by the alumni association.
A two year 'Grand Ol' Grandstand' fundraising program was put into place and the community responded.
That the beautifully restored stands were ravaged by fire just a little more than a week before the grandstands were to be dedicated with an official state of Michigan historic marker is a sad turn of events and shocking tragedy.
Though the historic grandstands exist no longer, those who worked so hard to preserve this part of local history can take heart that the story of their creation and the effort to save them will be an enduring part of the community's history and a tribute to the Imlay City Schools Alumni Association.