MICHIGAN SHADOW TOWNS: The Many Ashlands of Newaygo County
If someone asked you where Ashland was located, what would you say? What would ANYONE say?
When it comes to the community of Ashland in Newaygo County, the placements can get confusing. To contend with, there is/was Ashland, Ashland Township, Ashland City, Ashland Center, Ashland P.O., Ashland Station, and Ashland Corners.
If you Google-Map Ashland, you will see find it in the lower right-hand corner of Ashland Township. Ashland was once called 'Ashland City' and “Lake P.O.”
Straight up from Ashland is Grant, which was once called “Ashland P.O. / Grant Station.”
Straight west of Grant, in the center of the township, you'll see Ashland Center. This has also been referred to as Ashland Centre, Ashland Center P.O., and Ashland Station.
Straight down from Ashland Center and straight west of Ashland, used to be the community of Ashland Corners.
Even historians get confused. According to theoctoberproject.com, “(The area was) Brooks Township until Ashland was organized in 1854; named from the abundance of white ash timber in the area. John Betts became the first postmaster 2 June 1855 the office remained in operation until 16 January 1871; on 17 December 1894. The Ashland Centre post office was renamed Ashland but it was closed on 14 April 1904. (Ashland Center/Ashland Station was) settled in 1850 to distinguish it from Ashland in the same county and township, it was given a post office named Lake, opened on 19 March 1869 with Rensselaer Brace as its first postmaster; the office was closed 14 September 1870, but restored again with Mr. Brace as postmaster on 7 December 7 1871 and operated until 31 October 1908; since the Ashland post office was now closed, Ashland Centre was given a post office under its own name, with Sullivan Armstrong becoming its first postmaster, May 6, 1879, but this was changed to Ashland on Dec 17, 1894 until it was closed on 14 April 1904.”
Oh, well...rather than me trying to figure all that out, I thought I'd just pass it on to you. However, an old atlas from 1880 (SEEN BELOW) seems to be the ONLY atlas to show all four of Ashland's main locations.
It seems to be a cool area to drive-thru, so put this on your Michigan roadtrip itinerary and pass though some Michigan history.
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