This Michigan ghost town looks like any other countryside intersection, but at one time, there was a thriving community here. All that's left now is a church, a couple of foundations, an old original barn.....and a big rock.

The former village of Big Rock in Briley Township, Montmorency County got its name from a huge boulder, currently found on the corner of M-32 and Thorton Rd. It's a huge boulder, but only one-tenth of it is showing above-ground. On this rock appears to be some sort of markings. Shapes that look like Native American moccasin prints, deer tracks, and possibly bear tracks.

One of the oldest settlements in Montmorency County, the area which became Big Rock was a wilderness with plenty of wildlife: bears, deer, elk, fox, lynx, moose, wildcats and wolves.

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On March 22, 1882, the village got it's first post office with Seth Gillett as first postmaster. Later in 1882 the post office was transferred a few miles east and was given the name 'Atlanta'.  Briefly, the town was re-named 'Remington'  after general store owner William Remington in 1884. In December of 1885 the name 'Big Rock' was given back to the town.

At its peak about 1910, Big Rock had a general store, church, schoolhouse, grange hall, sawmill, blacksmith, and machine shop. As with most Michigan lumber towns, Big Rock began its decline when the timber ran short. But the residents hung on through the 1940s and Big Rock continued to be a busy place...for a while longer. The women of 1940s Big Rock were known for their delicious home-made butter. One man described the butter as "good, sweet, gilt-edged butter that makes you think of green fields of clover, dotted with buttercups.”

The photos below show location, some foundations, locations of former buildings, and the old original barn.

The Ghost Town of Big Rock


The Ghost Town of Pines, in Schoolcraft County

The Remains of Deserted Houses on Apple Island

Lost Rock, Douglas Beach/Saugatuck

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