Serving Ice Cream and Other Cool Treats

Open April to Halloween.

517.994.6019

The CreeMee History

The CreeMee story began in the early fifties in a cornfield on the corner of Grand River Ave. and Bridge St. Harold Borgess and Fred Meade were the original owners of the business and after a few years found it conflicted with their main businesses of running a flower shop (Harold) and a Pharmacy (Fred).

Over the winter of 1955-56 Marv Thrasher purchased the CreeMee. In the spring of 1956 he quit his job as shop floor supervisor of quality control at TRW, cashed his last paycheck to put change in the register and began his journey.

For the first few years the CreeMee was open from late March/early April through October. The rest of the year Marv worked as a model maker for Lans Corporation and Aero Detroit carving out full scale mahogany models for the dies used to make auto bodies.

The first addition to the CreeMee came in 1958 when he added a 10 foot by 20 foot section on the south side of the original building for added preparation and storage space. At the same time, a carport was added around three sides to provide shelter for walk up customers. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and french fries were added to the menu. Car hops were part of the service. Marv also added a small cubicle under the carport on the south side where his wife Mary played the organ in the evening, during the summers of 1958 and 1959.

Marv realized that if the CreeMee was going to be able to support his family it had to be operational year around. So, in 1961 he had the second addition constructed which enclosed the area covered by the carport, and included tables and a counter for inside seating. Short order meals were added, as well as the sale of Timex watches, and the complete line of Tonka trucks. Now the CreeMee was a full time business.

Circa 1968, the third addition to the CreeMee was the pizza room that was added on the south side of the building. Pizzas were baked in a 550 degree Blodgett brick oven that could bake 5 large pizzas simultaneously. That was also the reason pizzas were not available from June through August, due to the sauna like heat the oven created.

By the early 70’s business had grown to the point where seating space was insufficient. In a town of around 3,000 residents the CreeMee was serving over 100,000 hamburgers a year plus hot dogs, chicken, shrimp, fish, pizza, soft drinks, and thousands of gallons of soft serve, as well as hand dipped cones.

In July 1973, the fourth and final addition to the CreeMee was attached to the north side of the building and included a large dining area, public restrooms, and a basement for storage. The room was furnished with trestle tables and Tiffany lamp shades all built by Marv.

The CreeMee continued to grow its customer base and prospered for several more years. Over time Marv Thrasher and CreeMee had become synonymous in Portland. Regular customers from as far away as Detroit, Muskegon, Niles, and St. Ignace made routine stops. Marv cherished his CreeMee days, the hundreds of wonderful employees he had employed, and the thousands of customers who became his friends as well as customers. But, time never stops. On October 17, 1981, after 26 years, the CreeMee closed and Marv’s chapter in this story came to an end. On August 23, 1995, Marv watched as the CreeMee building was burned to the ground to make room for a new building. Someone once said “ashes to ashes”.

Now, 36 years after it closed, a new generation, Josh and Jenny Cross, has taken on his legacy and once again the CreeMee has opened its doors.