I promise you I was born and raised in West Michigan, but even in my 30+ years of living here I swear I learn something new every day! And quite often it's been hiding in plain sight all along.

That was recently the case when I was driving through downtown Plainwell, MI. Each morning as I make my daily commute to work I pass through the small "Island City" and admire the quaint shops and restaurants that line the downtown streets.

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Having grown up in nearby Allegan I'm quite familiar with the Plainwell-area but recently noticed some signs that I don't recall seeing before. Have you noticed them too?

Lauren G/TSM
Cookieville - Lauren G/TSM

It seems I'm not the only one curious to learn more about my own back yard as Allegan County Informed member Jessica Kranz asks,

I’ve noticed these Cookieville signs on 10th St/Douglas coming into Plainwell and leaving...Inquiring minds need to know. I can’t find anything on google

I know those exact signs she's referring to and had assumed it was just some joke or custom-made homage to the landowner's long-lost pet or something. But boy was I wrong!

Thankfully, the Plainwell City Clerk's Office chimed in to set us straight, saying:

These signs were a fun presentation from Commissioner Dugan at a council meeting over the summer. Mayor Keeler has a lot of stories about Cookieville and Commissioner Dugan thought it would be great to put these signs up to mark the historic boundaries of Cookieville.

via Google Maps
Cookieville Farms via Google Maps

History of Cookieville

The signs, which were presented in May 2022, mark the boundaries of a long-forgotten community called Cookieville. According to historical records Cookieville was once located in the Gun Plains Township area.

Shelley Simons, whose family has owned the former Cookieville farmstead since 1929, claims to know the origins of the Cookieville and more importantly, the story behind its silly name!

Legend has it Cookieville was located along the old stagecoach line that travelers used to get from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids. Shelly says the old farmwife used to bake cookies and sell them to passengers at the roadside thus: Cookieville!

Adds Shelley,

It never was a town - just a stage stop. Our home also had an overnight room for passengers if requested. We call our place Cookieville Farm and it was established in 1865.

Again, it was hiding in plain sight this whole time and we never knew until now. The next time you're driving the backroads through Plainwell keep an eye out for Cookieville!

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