Jackson Memories of Hotel Hayes, Kelsey-Hayes, and an Empty Sears
Here are three little photo galleries featuring three places from Jackson's past:
First off is HOTEL HAYES.
Hotel Hayes began as an idea in 1924 by the newly-formed Jackson Community Hotel Company. After snagging investors, $900,000 ($12 ½ million today) was raised to build a grand new hotel at 228 West Michigan Avenue.
The hotel was named after one of Jackson's industrial leaders, Clarence B. Hayes, founder of Hayes Wheel Company in 1908 (once called National Wheel Company) and later re-named Kelsey-Hayes after a merger. The Hayes Hotel opened in November 1926 with Clarence being the first customer and the first to sign the register.
Crystal chandeliers, gold medallions, marble runners, terrazzo floor tiles and more greeted customers in a dazzling array. The Georgian Ball Room featured the Big band performers of the day and the Drum Room was a favorite place for WWII soldiers.
1973: Consumers Energy buys the hotel.
1975: Hotel closes due to too much debt.
1976: Sheraton Inn opens, sealing the fate of Hotel Hayes.
2003: The old Hayes is vacated when Consumers moves to a new location.
2010: Power and heat shut off.
Take a look at some Hayes Hotel memorabilia below, followed by Kelsey-Hayes and Sears...
Hayes Hotel Memorabilia, Jackson
HAYES WHEEL COMPANY & KELSEY-HAYES
The Hayes Wheel Company was America's largest, most successful manufacturer and supplier of automobile hubs. During the 1910s Hayes bought out the National Wheel Company in Jackson and switched from buggy wheels to wooden car wheels.
In the 1920s, Hayes Wheel and Kelsey Wheel were both manufacturing wire wheels and decided to merge in 1927, forming Kelsey-Hayes Wheel Company.
During World War II in 1940, Kelsey-Hayes began helping the war effort by manufacturing machine guns, tank components, wheels and accessories for military vehicles, aircraft wheels, and brakes. Photos below include working for the WWII effort at the factory during the 1940s.
Kelsey-Hayes Wheel Company, Jackson
EMPTY SEARS STORE
You're right - it's not that old, but it is curious to see a few pictures of the empty insides of the department area and auto department.
Once located in downtown Jackson, Sears moved its operation to the new outdoor Paka Plaza mall which opened in 1961.
Thanks to the Westwood Mall opening in 1973, Paka Plaza followed suit and became enclosed. Even though there was new roofing, there was still a street gap between Sears and the rest of the shops that led to the Plaza Cinema movie theater. Eventually, that was taken care of and the route to the theaters was re-routed. But then Sears ended up closing for good in November 2018.
The photos below show an empty Sears.
Emptied Sears Store, Jackson
MORE JACKSON-AREA STUFF!
Jackson Eatery Memories
Ghost Town of Gasburg
Former Depot, Clough View
100 Years of Irish Hills Attractions