HISTORIC MICHIGAN TOWN: Eckford, a Victim of the Great Depression
The little village of Eckford lies in Eckford Township within Calhoun County, almost directly in-between Marshall and Albion. Eckford's first resident was surveyor Oshea Wilder. In 1831, he named the new village "Eckford" to honor his friend, the late New York naval architect Henry Eckford. In turn, Wilder Creek was named after Mr. Wilder.
In 1883, the Cincinnati, Jackson and Mackinaw Railroad (later called the Detroit, Toledo and Milwaukee RR) was laid through town complete with depot. It brought businessmen and travelers to Eckford, many settling down and helping the town grow and prosper. In time, little Eckford had auto sales, churches, community hall, farm implement shop, gas station, general store, grain dealer, post office, schoolhouses, and other various shops.
Eckford depended on the railroad for mail delivery; but once the Great Depression hit, mail service was re-routed to nearby Homer and Marshall. The tracks were no longer being used and they were finally ripped up in 1932. The post office followed, shutting down in June 1934.
The Eckford schoolhouse closed in 1978 and is now a residence.
When you take a drive thru Eckford, you'll be able to pick out the residences that were once shops and business establishments. There are no more stores, restaurants, party stores or gas stations left...just residences along the road. There's an antique store, museum, community center and a church if you drive far enough.
Pay a visit during your next Michigan roadtrip!