Whoopee Bowl - Clarkston MI

Address: 9580 Dixie Hwy
City: Clarkston
State: MI
Zip: 48348
County: Oakland
Number of visits to this page: 136
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General Information:

The Whoopee Bowl was opened by Dale and Marguerite Wilder. Dale ran a printing business until he was drafted into the Army during WWII. When he came home he and his wife wanted to start a business so they bought 49 acres of land in Springfield Twp. Their original idea was to build a swimming pool business but decided against it due to the harsh Michigan winters.

The land had a bowl-shaped indentation which was used a swimming hole. That was the "Bowl". The term "Whoopee" referred to an Apache Indian "cut" Dale had been using in his printing business. Hence the name "Whoopee Bowl", which Marge took credit for. Catchy name. There are other Whoopee Bowls from here to Florida so did they all copy their name from this one? I don't know.

The store was originally a place you would buy surplus goods cheap. A fire hit in 1965 which destroyed the front half of the building. They had no insurance. They rebuilt anyway and the placed continued as a surplus/flea market type of business. Eventually the Wilders daughter Donna and her husband Larry Marlowe too over by the 2000's. They were getting flack from the city for the orange color of the building, the condition of it, and the sign which the township found unsightly.

Originally, the township ordered the entire place to be demolished and the sign was brought down in 2005. The building got a reprieve when the Marlowe's agreed to re-paint it to a more acceptable color. The current building is an off-white. The front of the building that I saw back in 2002 seems to be gone. There was also a structure next door that seems to be down to some wall supports. The business had ceased to operate at some point.

Fast-forward to 2022, and it appears a Whoopee Bowl revival may occur. Jim Wilson, the current owner, has agreed to re-open the place as an antique store. He made a deal that would also involve Rusty Relics, an antique store operating on M-15 in Clarkston. The township has agreed with his plan. As of 2023, I am not sure where the project stands but it was only announced a few months back so we will see....

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Info Updates:
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 Photos:11
Whoopee Bowl - Feb 2003 Photo - Orange
Feb 2003 Photo - Orange
Whoopee Bowl - Feb 2003 Photo - Orange
Feb 2003 Photo - Orange
Whoopee Bowl - Jan 14 2023 Photo (newer photo)
Jan 14 2023 Photo (newer photo)
Whoopee Bowl - Jan 14 2023 Photo (newer photo)
Jan 14 2023 Photo (newer photo)
Whoopee Bowl - Jan 14 2023 Photo (newer photo)
Jan 14 2023 Photo (newer photo)
Whoopee Bowl - Jan 14 2023 Photo (newer photo)
Jan 14 2023 Photo (newer photo)
Whoopee Bowl - Jan 14 2023 Photo (newer photo)
Jan 14 2023 Photo (newer photo)
Whoopee Bowl - Jan 14 2023 Photo (newer photo)
Jan 14 2023 Photo (newer photo)
Whoopee Bowl - Jan 14 2023 Photo (newer photo)
Jan 14 2023 Photo (newer photo)
Whoopee Bowl - April 1980 Article On Wilders
April 1980 Article On Wilders
Whoopee Bowl - Oct 2022 - Revival Announced
Oct 2022 - Revival Announced
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