Ghosts of Main Street: The Ghost of Jimmy Hoffa

May 16, 2019

By Julie Traynor

Big news in July of 1975 was the disappearance of former Teamsters Union President Jimmy Hoffa. He went to a lunch meeting in the Detroit area and was never seen again. The search for Hoffa and or his remains reached far and wide, all across the country. It even came to Marion, Michigan.

This is the State Highway Department Garage when it was new in 1938. The State trucks were maintained here until 1975. The building is located just west of Marion.

Less than three weeks after Hoffa’s disappearance the FBI received a tip that his body was buried at the site of the new State Highway Department maintenance garage.  Located four miles south of Marion at the intersection of M-66 and M-61, construction on the facility had been in progress all summer. 

Following up on the tip that originated in Chicago, the FBI and the Michigan State Police came to town to investigate the building site. Then senior agent James Sturgis from the Grand Rapids offices told the Press that the Marion tip was “like a hundred others. No better and no worse.”

After a thorough look at the construction site, the team concluded that there was no reason to excavate or tear up tons of new concrete unless further credible details were received. They were not forthcoming.

Jimmy Hoffa disappeared on July 30, 1975, forty-four years ago this summer. The reward amount at the time of the Marion investigation was $275,000 and continued to grow, bringing even more tips however wild they seemed. A few years after the Marion visit, a tip was received claiming that Hoffa had been fed to alligators in Florida.   

This is the finished State Highway Department garage as it appeared in 1985, ten years after the search for Hoffa. 

Speculation continued to grow over Hoffa’s disappearance and whereabouts for years. Occasionally, this mystery once again comes to the forefront when yet one more potentially credible tip surfaces. To date Hoffa’s remains have never been found. 

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