Burr Oak Revival

Burr Oak Whistle Stop

Did I call it, or what? A few years back I wrote an article here that went viral. Well, it got picked up by the Culver Citizen and the MCEDC newsletter anyway… The post, “If it Ain’t Burr Oak, Don’t Fix it” talked about the potential renaissance for Burr Oak, citing the access to electric, rail, State Highways and proximity to Culver. Since that article was written, the sub station renovation is nearly complete. I drive through there several times a day every weekday and I can tell you the train traffic has increased as well. And apparently Kevin Overmyer has decided to lead Burr Oak’s renaissance. Last year he began hosting events in the family barn with Burr Oak Barn Rental and this year he renovated the old General Store building and opened it as the Burr Oak Whistle Stop this past July. (Grand Opening article here.)

My article title came from my friend, Eric Freeman, who enjoyed a good play on words. In the case of the Whistle Stop, Kevin Overmyer decided there was something broken there and he took it upon himself to fix it. He remembered the history of the building from his childhood and was disheartened by the building’s deterioration. With the work he has done, it is nearly unrecognizable.

Is Burr Oak likely to see a true renaissance from these small beginnings? Hard to tell. Does Kevin have other plans for the Town? He’s not saying. But there is another commercial building there that could be put back into operation and the drive-by exposure is pretty good there. Maybe he’s started something. At the quarterly County Development for the Future meeting MCEDC hosts, I asked Kevin if he was planning to start giving a report on Burr Oak and it’s goals and progress. He just laughed, but there was a twinkle in his eye and he didn’t say no.

I’ll have to let Eric know that Burr Oak may be looking for a Mayor soon. Though he may have to run against Kevin, who’s always been a shrewd politician…

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