Hell is an unincorporated community in Putnam Township, Livingston County, in the U.S. state of Michigan. The community is near the border with Washtenaw County, about 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Ann Arbor. Hell is three miles (4.8 km) southwest of Pinckney via Patterson Lake Road.
Yes, there is a Hell on Earth, and it’s 15 miles northwest of Ann Arbor. There are several stories floating around about how this name came to be, but the one the town itself declares official is this: In the 1830s, the town settler, George Reeves, made a deal with local farmers to trade his homemade whiskey for the grain they grew. When the farmer’s wives knew their husbands were off dealing with Reeves, they were known to remark, “He’s gone to hell again.” The name stuck.
At any rate, locals have enthusiastically embraced the name, playing up every opportunity to turn both municipal and commercial signage and advertising into a pun connoisseur’s dream come true. Visit during winter to see “Hell freeze over,” or you may have the chance to jocularly tell someone to “go to Hell” in the course of giving directions. There isn’t much to see in Hell outside of the many jokey signs, but certain spots such as the downtown general store offer kitschy and unusual gifts and knickknacks bearing the town’s name. In addition, for the price of $100, a visitor can become the “Mayor of Hell” for one day, receiving a key to the city and the opportunity to be ignominiously impeached at the end of the day.
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