GLADWIN COUNTY – If you had been here in Gladwin County in the late 1800s or early 1900s you may have lived in one of these areas of the county.
Arbutus – a settlement on the north line of section 36 in Buckeye Township. It was also known as the Oliver’s settlement.
Bard – was on the corner of Bard and Calhoun roads on the Beaverton and Grout township line. At one time in the 1800s was a trading post for fur buyers and Indians.
Bethel – also known as Podunk was on the corner of Zimmer and Shearer roads in Sage Township. It was famous for the dance hall there.
Bowmanville – in section five of north Grim Township formerly Sheridan Township and adjoining the Bourret Township section 30/31.
Butman – Had been in several locations depending where the store was but last was on the corner of Butman and Cemetery roads. At one time there were a sawmill, grocery store and blacksmith shop. At one time was located where present Lake Lancer is.
Dale – corner of Dale and Freeman roads in Tobacco Township, and it was sometimes called Bear Creek.
Dundas – corner of Dale and Dundas Roads in Beaverton Township.
Elm Grove – corner of Three Rivers and Secord Dam roads in Secord Township.
Estey – corner of School and Estey roads in Bentley Township. In late 1900s, business district was two blocks long.
Highwood – east of Hay Road where Highwood Road crosses the Tittabawassee River. It was also called Whitney Beach.
Hockaday – at one time had a general store and church but now has only the church on corner of Hockaday and Ritchie roads.
Lyle – on the corner of Lyle and Wade roads in Beaverton Township. It was logging and lumber in late 1900s but now all are gone and the area has now became a plastic product development area.
McClure – corner of Hockaday and McClure roads in Gladwin Township. Had a store and post office and was named after lumberman William C. McClure.
Meredith – well it still exists on M-18 and Meredith Grade on the Clare-Gladwin County line. It has mostly disappeared and now contains only a grocery store and a bar and a few houses. At one time it was known as “The Toughest Town in Michigan” and was the home to infamous Jim Carr who ran a house of “ill repute” and a saloon. At one time had a population of 500 with hotels, an opera house, jail, city hall, railroad station and roundhouse.
New Headquarters – also known as “Shotgun Corners” and “Millsville”, was on Butman and Grass Lake roads. Had a dance hall in 20s and 30s
Oberlin – corner of M-18 and Oberlin roads in Sherman Township. Post office closed in 1949.
Rhodes – at the intersection of Rhodes and Cummins roads in Bentley Township. A residential area, no business is left.
Secord – on Ridge Road at the Tittabawassee River in Secord Township. Was named for Marvel Secord who settled there and ran the post office.
Skeels – on the corner of M-18 and Renas roads in Sherman Township. All old businesses are gone and now there is only a church and a Christian School there.
Smith’s Creek – was in section 32 of Sage Township near Frost Lake. Had a school and sawmill.
Wagarville – on the corner of Wagarville and Nickless roads. It was first known as “Ridgeville.” The second church in the county was built here and still stands but has been added on to accommodate a larger attendance. The cheese factory is long gone as well as all other businesses.
There were several other areas that became settlements but were not very well populated and were known by their name in those early years. A lot of the post offices were closed with the advent of the automobile age.
A lot of the information comes from my memory in addition to a book that we have on our shelf titled “Michigan Ghost Towns” Vol. 1, by Roy L Dodge.
Our next General Meeting will be on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 10 a.m., second floor above the library. After the meeting Barb Curtindale will present a video on Canadian Immigrations and Border Crossings.