Ingham County Lost Town: Is it ‘Winfield’ or ‘Kinneville’?
In Ingham County, Kinneville Road runs east-to-west, from Meridian Road to S. Waverly Road. It goes through three townships: Bunker Hill, Leslie, and winds up in Onondaga.
Ever wonder about a place called “Kinneville”? Any road that has “ville” at the end of it usually means there is or once was a town with that same name. Such is the case with Kinneville.
The village of Kinneville isn't listed on maps anymore, but it’s still there, with a tucked-away neighborhood off the main road, hidden from view by passing motorists.
Kinneville was platted in 1849 by Steven Van Kinney. He gave this land the name “Nova Scotia” after his homeland. He constructed a grist mill and saw mill on the Grand River and was soon making enough feed, flour, and meal for other settlers and resepctive livestock. The saw mill provided the community with the materials they needed for building homes and other businesses.
After the mills were built, others followed suit with their own establishments: By 1880 there was a hotel, grocery & liquor store, general store, axe handle and shingle factory, cheese-factory, two churches, a school house built in 1879, two blacksmith shops, wagon shop, shoe shop, and cooper shop.
In 1860, a post office was established in Kinneville but named ‘Winfield’. This caused some confusion, as atlases listed the town as ‘Winfield’ and not ‘Kinneville’ for a number of years (SEE PHOTOS BELOW). Even the area's old 1879 schoolhouse is referred to as "Winfield School".
When the Grand River Railway was laid, it routed past Kinneville and through Onondaga; this was great for Onondaga, but Kinneville suffered.
Kinneville sits quietly, with no restaurants, gas stations, or stores, except for the Grizzly Apparel Company. Take a drive over, cruise the community, and see for yourself - the once-bustling, unlisted village of Kinneville.....or Winfield.