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alaskaTucked away in southern Kent County lies the picturesque village of Alaska. The village is located where 68th Street meets the Thornapple River and can easily be overlooked if you are in a hurry.

Alaska is home to the Fred W Ruehs Park, a Kent county park located along the Thornapple River. The park is only five acres, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in river frontage, lots of it. Plenty of room for a riverfront picnic and the day I was there, many families were enjoying a late summer picnic.

On February 14, 2004, Kevin proposed to Bren on the high bank side of the river. A round bronze plaque is glued to a large rock indicating it as their proposal site. We have no idea if Bren said Yes or No.

Alaska does not have many commercial storefront buildings today, and maybe it never did. A Samís Joint restaurant is one of the few business establishments in the village. Samís Joint is located in the former home of the Bavarian Inn. The building started out as a church and many remnants, including the stained glass windows, remain as a reminder of the buildingís past.

Samís is always interesting with an eclectic assortment of antiques and all sorts of pictures and memorabilia on the walls. You will even find a boat affixed to the ceiling. We chose not to sit there just in case.

When driving thru Alaska or any another Michigan village, slow down and donít be in such a hurry.

Written by Dave.