Monday, December 11, 2023

Addendum to Eaton Rapids "Camping Sites"


I am officially an idiot.

The BEST place to "Camp" in Eaton Rapids is this abandoned factory just north of downtown.

I drove by the complex this morning and the door on the north side of the corner building was swinging in the breeze. 

And then there is the option of squatting in an abandoned house.

One of my kids buddies continued to squat in the house his mother had rented and then stopped paying rent. She moved out. He did not.

He continued to have parties in the house for the next two-or-three months. The City of Eaton Rapids shut off the water about the same time the neighbor's complaints got the kid evicted by the cops.

The house was trashed. The absentee landlords sold the house.

It seems like squatters moving into million dollar houses is reported weekly in the press. I bet the number moving into less expensive houses or defiantly over-staying their lease is at least 10,000 a week. The current gig seems to be to falsify documents that look like a lease and to stiff-arm attempts by the owners and legal system to move you out. Given that the legal system is required to process criminal matters before civil matters, the fake-tenents can milk the process for years in some places.

The legal owners have little recourse but to grit their teeth and pay for lawyers.

Little recourse, that is, short of hit-men.


  1. I have no doubt that this is just the beginning. But there is nowhere else to go. ---ken

    1. Staying because "there is nowhere else to go" is like stealing.

      Make better choices in life. But staying is morally wrong.

    2. How is staying here on my farm instead of moving away "stealing"?

    3. People used to go to Canada or Australia to get away from a government they thought was becoming repressive. Viet Nam was a big issue but there were also other problems. Now those places are worse. I used to like Ireland but it has also become worse than here. Much worse. We have lived here on our farm for 37 years last spring and there is nowhere better I can think of to go to get away from the problems this country is falling into.. And at our age it probably won't matter. And my choices in life have been far better than most so I don't need any lecture. --ken

  2. "Youse can leave with a box, or youse can leave in a box. Your choice."

  3. I was just eating lunch and thought of the part in the movie "Dr. Zhivago" where he and his family returned home to find the place full of "homeless" and he and his family only had a bedroom for themselves and the new government (like we are getting now) supported it because it is fair and equitable. I'm sure that cottages, second homes, hunting camps, and maybe even big houses that are "underutilized" will be a good place to "share" with all of our new citizens that are coming across the border. ---ken

  4. This is actually a valid concern, ERJ. It is something that has crossed my mind more than once at The Ranch - that said, we do have people around every day so the odds are lessened that at least it would go unnoticed for a long period of time.

  5. The homeless tent city dwellers are not likely to hang around Michigan this time of year. There are plenty of warm weather states with generous social services they can take advantage of, like California. Unless they feel they have found a sustainable source of support where they are, they move on.
    I'm convinced that a lot of these folks are essentially snowbird gypsies, traveling south in the winter, and north in the summer, to the major metro areas where they know they can access social welfare.
    And they don't even have to be particularly stable, sane, or competent. A few days ago, I saw a young man near the intersection of VA-11 and US I-64, no backpack, no belongings, no shoes, no jacket, dirty, unkempt. Probably an addict. My guess is he was trying to get to I-81 to go south toward Florida.

  6. They do have a 'circuit' they roam north to south depending on the weather, the handouts, and law enforcement. But I also agree with Rick!

    1. At some point, giving them a warning is unneeded risk.

      They know they are not supposed to be there.

      What is the upside of threatening them before dropping the hammer?

      Key words: At some point...

    2. I don't know what happens, but my county doesn't have homeless or panhandling; the neighboring counties do.
      I've heard that problem people are "run off" but no more details.
      My suspicion is that the legacy of remote areas taking care of their own problems persists here, which I don't mind...

  7. I wonder if outsourcing manufacturing work might have some lessons for owners in this sort of situation? Simply by way of example, should one be in this circumstance, as the owner, and have connections with the unlicensed pharmaceutical industry, should such entrepreneurs get wind of competing enterprise, surprisingly enough in the person of the squatters, what might be their response? What impact might that have upon the duration of the tenancy of the squatters?

    Of course, *I* have no idea what that response might be, except to note that unlicensed purveyors of pharmaceuticals appear to be very territorial, and have a reputation of being malsocialized.

  8. A few years ago a friend had this problem with a property he owned that was vacant for major repairs and restoration near Vancouver WA. Legal attempts to evict the 'occupants' was basically spitting against the wind. The squatters knew how to work the system.

    Rick's solution above is what worked for him. Several of us from around the state showed up one day when the 'occupants' were absent, tossed all the crap in the house in a truck, which made a run to the local transfer station. The rest of us then camped out in the house armed to the teeth and waited.

    We were prepared for whichever way they wanted to take the encounter when they returned. There was a bunch of yelling and threats on their part but in the face of overwhelming firepower they opted to leave. A few of us took turns babysitting the house each night for the next couple of weeks in case they decided to come back and torch the place. They did show up one night but I wasn't there for the encounter. From what one of the guys said the sound of racking the slide on a 12 gauge dampened their enthusiasm for trouble.

    Word must have gotten around because he never had any more trouble with squatters after that.


  9. He is fortunate to have friends like you. Few do.---ken

  10. He's lucky they didn't take it to the local authorities or a bleeding heart attorney. Self-help eviction is illegal and heavily punished. No way he would have come out on top of that.


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