In the rubble of the old Mill End building lies a lifetime of memories.
"It's a shame that it's gone, it's a shame that it's gone," said Michael Chapman, who has lived in Bay City his entire life.
The last bricks of the historic building came crashing to the ground this week. The Mill End was known for having the odds and ends you couldn't find anywhere else.
Phil Reagh and his wife Penny came downtown Friday night to have dinner. But they felt compelled to stop by the place where the building once stood, a building that holds some many dear memories.
"I want a brick," said Penny. "Well you could use it for a doorstop and every time you look at it you can remember the store."
A brick that symbolizes a big piece of their life. Their earliest memories are at Mill End, dating back 43 years when they got married. Phil worked at the Mill End through high school and college. His father was the manager for 45 years.
"You never knew what you were going to find and what bargains there were," said Phil Reagh, a longtime Bay City resident.
A lot of people remember the painter pants they used to sell, or the steal of a deal you could get on cowboy boots. Some people are sad that the building is gone, but they say at the end of the day, they're just glad that this spot will have something called Mill End.
"Oh definitely, it'll be a big improvement for downtown," said Phil Reagh.
Soon, the ground where the Mill End once stood will be home to new retail space and apartments. The new Mill End Lofts will also carry the famous big red letters that once hung from old Mill End. And though the old store will long gone, her memories will stick with those who loved her most.
"When you walked in to the store, the floors creaked, and it always had a smell that was just neat," said Chapman.
Copyright 2012 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.