MICHIGAN SMALL TOWNS: Plainfield, Unadilla, & Williamsville
I already did a brief bio on the Unadilla Township/Livingston County village of Gregory, so here are the other small communities that lie in Unadilla Township.
Plainfield was an area where the local Native Americans loved to get together. Many of their trails all led to Plainfield, which provided perfect camping grounds. New Jersey natives Jacob Dunn and Levi Clawson arrived in 1835 and became the first settlers. In 1836 it was named “Dyersburg” after tavern owner Phillip Dyer; however, the post office was given the name “Plainfield” by Dunn, after Plainfield, New Jersey, and the name stuck. The post office shut down in 1913.
Read more about Plainfield HERE.
The community known as Unadilla was originally a post office named "Milan" in 1834.....but the name had to be changed, due to another Milan already established in Michigan. Therefore, they decided to make it easy and re-named the post office "Unadilla" after the township. The area was surveyed for a plat in 1837 but not recorded until 1840. It became known as the "Village of East Unadilla," thanks to another unincorporated community, a little over two miles west that called themselves the "Village of Unadilla" in 1837… that village later became known as Williamsville.
The first land purchase in the township was recorded On June 20, 1833, Eli Ruggles of Brookfield, Connecticut bought the first piece of land within the township. His brother-in-law, Amos Williams, came along for the journey. Upon returning to Connecticut, Williams packed up his family and brought them all back to Michigan, where they wound up building a sawmill and opening a business in 1834. The town was first platted on January 30, 1837, by Darwin N. Edson and the descendants of Curtis Noble, and was eventually named Williamsville after the Amos Williams family.
To read more about Williamsville, Unadilla, and the fire that destroyed the historic Unadilla General Store, CLICK HERE.
Kaiserville is located 1 ½ miles east of Unadilla on Kaiser Road. There was a lumber mill at the area, owned by a company in which the village was named after. The lumber company could possibly have been the Van Etten, Kaiser & Company, who also built the Pinconning & Kaiserville Railroad, responsible for another ‘Kaiserville’ in Bay County. The Livingston County ‘Kaiserville’ borders lakes Woodburn and Patterson and has become a boating community.
…and don’t forget Bullis Crossing, located at Barton Road and M-36. Not much is known about this tiny area, so if anyone has info on Bullis Crossing, let me know.
Below are photos of all these areas, with atlases showing what they looked like beginning in 1875!