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Author Topic: Remembering Ole Spikehorn  (Read 583 times)

Offline Longhunter

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Remembering Ole Spikehorn
« on: April 08, 2017, 09:40:06 AM »
John "Spikehorn" Meyer 1870-1959. He was an eccentric old character that had a tourist stop here in Michigan on old Hwy 27. The uniqueness of old Skikehorn and his place besides the souvenirs that people could buy was that he kept black bears in cages for them to see. He would sometimes have the bears around him like puppy dogs. He was a modern day mountainman,, the last of his kind.
 A trip north up old US 27 wasn't complete unless you stopped at Skikehorns.


Spikehorn with his old flintlock blunderbuss

 



right on the side of the Hwyway


Offline Longhunter

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Re: Remembering Ole Spikehorn
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2017, 09:45:22 AM »


You'd never be able to do this today


Online doc nock

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Re: Remembering Ole Spikehorn
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2017, 07:27:20 PM »
Wow...ain't shinnin apples, but you sho do have the memories... Ron...

Offline Kleine

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Re: Remembering Ole Spikehorn
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2017, 10:07:22 AM »
Very cool :thumbs:

Offline Longhunter

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Re: Remembering Ole Spikehorn
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2017, 01:38:32 PM »
More history of Spikehorn......

"Spike Horn didn’t smell like cologne. He was as cantankerous as his bears. He was a trickster, but an honest one. Spike Horn made life a lot more interesting at one of the first tourist traps in northern Michigan.
John Meyers was born on July 15, 1870, five years after the end of the Civil War. He died September 19, 1959. During his last three decades he became Spike Horn.


I don’t know how John Meyers reached Harrison. He never learned to drive, and old HWY US-27 didn’t amount to much. He arrived carrying a backpack and slept under the stars.
The Detroit Free Press first featured him in 1931. John Meyers had become Spike Horn. Along came his parade of bears with names like Nip, Tuck, Joe, Strawberry, Raspberry, Stub, Snowball, Old Tucker, Jackson, Christine, and the notorious Bruno.
These days Spike Horn would be called a “Bear Whisperer.” One advertisement read, “Come and shake hands with a bear.” Things would’ve been okay if tourists drawn to the Bear Camp had understood and respected the animals like Spike did. They didn’t.
One lady slapped a bear cub for grabbing her pearl necklace. The mother bear immediately charged the abuser. The woman was lucky Spike stepped in between her and the beast just in time to interrupt a mauling.
Another serious incident included Old Bruno. He’d grown to 700 pounds and was seven feet tall standing on his hind legs. Some silly citizens entered his home with a jelly roll and a camera to take pictures. The photo shoot was going well until the couple ran out of film. The guy tried to take the jelly roll away from Bruno, while the woman reloaded her camera.
Old Bruno threw a fit, and several people were injured. The woman with the camera went home with some interesting close up photos and 35 stitches

When Bruno was younger, a mere 500 pounds, Spike Horn took him and five younger bears to Detroit for a live radio interview. The station was a little rattled, because Spike was only supposed to bring one bear.
Bruno escaped the interview, and ended up in the elevator on the floor above. A resident employee opened up the elevator door, and became very confused and disoriented. The poor guy ran into another room and locked the door.
The bears always got loose whenever they traveled with Spike. It was good publicity, and Spike Horn received statewide newspaper coverage. He even did an interview on WJR-Detroit that was broadcast nationally. That was big stuff back then."

A short film of old Spikehorn

http://99wfmk.com/spikehorn/

Online Benny Nganabbarru

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Re: Remembering Ole Spikehorn
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2017, 10:25:16 PM »
 :thumbs:

Loved reading about this bloke! Thanks!

Online doc nock

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Re: Remembering Ole Spikehorn
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2017, 09:27:54 AM »
An American Icon, no doubt!  Thanks for sharing, Ron!

How lack luster our future history might be without these colorful characters in our discussions...

Thanks, for preserving his memory for us all to enjoy! :thumbs:

Offline penrosepete

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Re: Remembering Ole Spikehorn
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2017, 09:23:11 AM »
I do remember old spike, I was raised in Temple,Mi. I remember going to see spikehorn with my folks in the 40s. What a character  He was. Haven't thought of him in many years. Glad you brought him up.