McCrea Plumbing & Heating
500 W. Lincoln Ave.
Mike McCrea found his career calling early in life, and it wasn’t playing the part of Santa Claus. Today’s Historical Society Business Focus stopped by McCrea Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning, to learn about Mike’s business, now in its 40th year.
The McCrea ancestors came from Scotland to Hinckley nearly 100 years ago. Mike joined his dad, Wayne, in working at the Hinckley Hardware Store while he was in junior high. There, Jack Leifheit taught Mike sheet metal work and how to install heating systems. After graduating from Hinckley-Big Rock High School, Mike earned his plumbing license and started his own business next to what is now NAPA Auto. By 1989 he needed a bigger space to warehouse all the fixtures he was installing for customers along Route 30 from Lee to Sugar Grove.
Mike and his wife, Shawn, bought the old Malmburg Blacksmith Shop and turned it into his office and warehouse. Today Mike is mainly focused on repairing plumbing and HVAC systems for customers so he can spend more time with his grandkids. Over the years, he has volunteered for the Hinckley Fire Department and served the community as a Hinckley Lions Club member like his father. Give Mike a call if you need plumbing or HVAC repairs. He has the experience to fix most anything.
- Mike’s great grandfather immigrated to Michigan. His wife was Maude Jones.
- His grandfather moved to Big Rock where he farmed. Howard 1903-1952 & Hazel.
- His father, Wayne, worked at the hardware and then on the village maintenance staff.
- Wayne 1927-1990, married in 1948 to Evelyn 1928-2017
- Siblings: Richard (Mary); Mike (Shawn); Lynn (Nathan) Gross: Julie (Peter) Waddington.
- Mike’s kids: Elizabeth; Katherine; Patrick; Christina
- Over the years furnaces have become more energy efficient (70 vs 98%)
- Plumbing uses more plastic today and offers shower valves that give even temperatures and water heaters with instant hot water