When you drive around the rural Michigan Countryside, you will often see these little buildings at the end of a long driveway. They are school bus stop wait stations. They kind of look like phone booths or perhaps even outhouses of old. The first time I saw one, I actually thought it was an old outhouse someone had left with the property, and did not have the heart to tear down.
I later learned that they are in fact school bus stop wait stations for the kids that live at the house. Imagine what it is like in a Michigan winter to have to walk down a long driveway, and wait for the school bus to arrive. Timing your trek to the road is everything, and if your bus is a little behind schedule, it can make for a long cold wait.
When I consider that this past weekend here in Southwest Michigan, we have experienced single digit temperatures for the high on the day this makes a lot of practical sense.
I do not know the origin of school bus stop wait stations, but there seems to be a lot of them, as I see them quite frequently in rural areas.
Some are simple and plain, and you would most often not even notice them. Others are more decorated and one of the school bus stop wait stations I present here even has the school mascot on it. When I came to realize that they are around, I found myself looking for them more and more. I have included a few photos here.
I would imagine some of the more sophisticated ones even have a small space heater, but from what I have heard from most locals is that just having a place to step into out of the cold snow; wind and rain can make all the difference for those few extra minutes a student might have to wait for the bus.
You can see in the photos that a long walk to the house seems to be pretty consistent when you find these. So, if you are visiting Michigan and ever wonder what those little houses at the end of a driveway are for, now you know: school bus stop wait stations.
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