ABANDONED MICHIGAN: The 1867 Frankfort Iron Works
This abandoned structure is the old Frankfort Iron Works. It bears the name of the town of Frankfort, even though it’s located across Betsie Lake in the village of Elberta, whci was originally named 'South Frankfort'.
It’s easy to find, as it’s right there in Elberta’s Waterfront Park.
The Frankfort Iron Works opened in 1867, eventually featuring a large blast furnace. At the time, it made Elberta the home of the largest manufacturer in Benzie County. On July 1, 1870, the first iron was produced in its brick casting house; this made Frankfort Iron Works instrumental in the construction of the area’s first railroad.
Unfortunately, the Iron Works shut down in 1883 and was purchased by the Toledo, Ann Arbor & Northern Michigan Railway. The furnace buildings were renovated into a roundhouse, and a depot & water tower were built.
After the TAA&NM Railway changed to the Ann Arbor Railroad Company, grain elevators and warehouses were built on the site. The elevators were destroyed in 1916.
There are still decent patches of the Frankfort Iron Works ruins, and you can easily visit/see them when you visit the park in Elberta!
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