MICHIGAN GHOST TOWN: The ‘Lost’ Village of Almira
In Benzie County is the township of Almira; within that township was once the village of Almira, now considered a ghost town. Why? Cuz it ain't there anymore! It's almost as if it didn't exist.
There are conflicting dates as to when the first settlers came: some say 1855, others say 1862. Among the first settlers in the area was Andrew Burrell and his wife, Almira, who the township (and town) was named after.
Almira was located 14 miles west of Traverse City and soon planned as a lumber town. A sawmill and gristmill popped up, as did a blacksmith, cemetery, church, general store, post office, schoolhouse, shoemaker and stagecoach stop. The stagecoach stop welcomed travelers to & from Traverse City and Glen Arbor. By 1953, the only things left were the schoolhouse and cemetery (SEE PHOTOS BELOW).
According to almiratownship.org, "the township built a schoolhouse in its first school district—School District No. 1—formed in 1862 and called the Black School. It was situated where the Lake Ann Cemetery is now located.....The first grocery store was owned by Matt Burnett on the A. J. White farm at the corner of Ole White Drive and Fowler Road, also called Almira Corners."
If you visit Almira Township and attempt to find the exact location of Almira's lost downtown area, good luck. It could either be on the short stretch of Almira Road (between Rayle Rd. and Lake View) or even at the above-mentioned Almira Corners, at Fowler Rd and Ole White Drive where a grocery once stood. One site showed Almira as being smack dab in downtown Lake Ann...so who really knows where Almira was??? Old township plat maps don't seem to be any help at all.
Either way, a visit to the remaining old schoolhouse and cemetery could give you more insight on the people that once resided in Almira. There are old structures scattered around the countryside if you care to search down some of the roads for more photo ops.
Add this to your next Michigan roadtrip!
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