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Chums Corner, Michigan is an unincorporated community and census-designated place south of Traverse City, at the intersection of US-31 and M-37.

US-31 enters Chums Corner from the west and, at the point where it intersects M-37, it turns north and runs concurrently with M-37, while the road that continues east becomes Beitner Road.

The community was named for Deronda "Chum" Crandall, who opened a Sinclair gas station and grocery store there in 1932. His station later became a bus stop, as well. The intersection became known as Chums Corners and, while Chum sold the business in 1953 and died in Traverse City in 1959, the community that grew up around his business is known as Chum Corner.

Chum was the son of David E. Crandall, who operated a shingle mill in nearby Grawn. Chum later became a partner in this business with his father, which became D.E. Crandall & Son, and they added a large sawmill to the operation. The business did well for about thirty years but the timber industry fell on hard times during the Great Depression.

Along with his wife, Eva, Chum purchased forty acres of land at the junction of US-31 and M-37, building a home, and then the gas station and grocery store that would give the community its name.

In an interview in the 1980s, his wife said that Chum had received his nickname as a child from workers in his father's mill, who called him "Little Chum."

The intersection has since become a busy community with a CDP population approaching one thousand and has also become a destination. The Northwestern Michigan Fair has been located in Chums Corner since 1975. A teen nightclub was in Chums Corner for a while during the 1980s.

The gas station once operated by Chum became the Chums Corner Mini Mart, and a long-standing bar that operated as Club 31, The Gin Mill, and Spikes Peak, has become Northern Lights, a restaurant and pub.

Several other businesses have made their home in Chums Corner, including a Chase Bank branch, a Rite Aid, Tractor Supply Company store, a Verizon outlet, and a few hotels and restaurants.

Completed in 2006 and owned by Wuerfel Sports Development, Wuerfel Park was the home field of the Traverse City Beach Bums, a minor league baseball team. Acquired by the West Michigan Whitecaps, the team is now known as the Traverse City Pit Spitters and plays in the Northwoods League of the Summer Collegiate Baseball Association. The Pit Spitters are the main tenants of Wuerfel Park, a privately financed stadium in Chums Corner, Michigan.

Chums Corner has never had its own post office. Chums Corner residents receive their mail from Traverse City, which is about seven miles to the north.

Other cities and villages within twenty miles of the community include Buckley, Lake Ann, and Honor. Unincorporated communities within ten miles of Chums Corner are Grawn, Brookside, Monroe Center, Wadsworth, Neal, Hannah, Bass Lake, and Mayfield.

The focal point of this category is on the unincorporated community and census-designated place known as Chums Corner. Appropriate topics include businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, and events within the Chums Corner CDP boundaries.

 

 

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