If there ever was a belief that people don't love Downriver, a new online group is putting that notion to rest.
The Facebook group Downriver Things That Are Not There Anymore! has quickly led to a flood of people sharing their favorite memories. In only a few days of existence, nearly 9,000 people as of 11 a.m. Tuesday have joined the group, which was started by former Downriver resident Katie Bashlor.
, restaurants, recreation opportunities and schools from the past that sit empty or no longer exist. In some cases, posts have sparked discussions that have resulted in hundreds of comments from other members.
“I think there have been a lot of latent memories and this is triggering a lot of them,” Bashlor said.
That's evidenced by the number of discussions about an old store that resulted in former employees and customers chiming in with their memories.
Bashlor now lives in New Jersey, but previously lived in several Downriver communities, including Wyandotte for about one year. The 1986 Gibraltar Carlson graduate is back in town this week and is staying with family in that city–a trip she said was not purposely planned to coincide with her new online group.
Getting such a big response to the creation of the group is something Bashlor said was unexpected. However, due to the rapid growth rate that ensued, she said, she has no idea how large the group could become.
“I never projected (from the start) it would be 10,000,” Bashlor said.
Building on that popularity, she said, she hopes to use the group in the future to help promote local businesses that are still in operation.
“I want to try and use it for a good cause,” Bashlor said. “To promote businesses that are there today.”
Aside from that, Bashlor said, she, like many of the online users, are enjoying the trip down memory lane with each new message that is posted.
“There’s a lot I can relate to,” Bashlor said. “It’s really amazing. It’s a total blast.”
(In full disclosure, is helping Bashlor in administering the group.)