Where Three Ghost Towns Can Be Found in Southwest Michigan
Back in the day, these three Michigan towns were full of people and buildings. Now, they're gone and buried.
It's amazing to me how a town can thrive one minute only to be buried under sand dunes the next. The storied history of these three Southwest Michigan ghost towns is surprising.
Bertrand Township (Village of Bertrand)
In 1808 Joseph Bertrand settled in this area which now falls between Buchannan, Michigan, and the Indiana state line. That is when this area became known as the Village of Bertrand according to Bertrandtownship.com,
The village grew rapidly and is said to have numbered almost 1,000 people at one time and boasted three hotels, a warehouse, seven dry-goods stores, and a post office.
The Village of Bertrand began to decline as Bertrand Township was established in 1836. By the 1900s Bertrand dwindled to nothing. The only pieces of the old Bertrand that can be found still standing in the area are two cemeteries.
In Van Buren County just East of Gobles, Mentha was founded in 1870 according to the Times Herald,
Founded by peppermint grower Albert Todd, it's located in Van Buren County with access by the Kal-Haven bicycle trail.
Mentha was thriving because of Todd's peppermint farm. In fact, most of the world's mint oil came from this very spot at one point. But now, it's less than a ghost town. You can't find Menta on a map. Not to mention, all of the farmhouses that you could see from the Van Haven trail have been torn down to make room for more corn fields over the last decade. There is virtually nothing left standing from Mentha's heyday.
The Allegan county town of Singapore had a rich history before it all fell apart. Singapore, Michigan was founded in 1836. This town was the home of Michigan's first schoolhouse and possibly the state's first banking scandal. Singapore was really thriving in the 1870s according to ghosttowns.com,
At its peak in the 1870s, had 23 buildings, 2 working sawmills and about 200 residents.
Singapore is now buried under sand dunes near Saugatuck.
Is there another ghost town in Southwest Michigan we should cover? Let us know in the comments.
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