Driving through the Eaton County town of Woodbury, you would probably never realize how busy this little place was...and how many business establishments it once had. Sure, you'll pass by a few things before you get to the heart of the place, but once you do, you'll see mostly some old homes and a couple of businesses.

Woodbury began in 1889 as a railroad station on the Chicago, Kalamazoo and Saginaw Railroad. The CK&S connected with the Pere Marquette Railroad and brought lots of trade. The town was named after one of the officials when the post office opened in 1889.....the P.O. closed in 1933.

The town seemed to be booming in the early 1900s. By now the town had a blacksmith, general store, town doctor (Dr. Arthur Laughlin), church, hotel, other shops, and a school, along with the above-mentioned post office and rail station.

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By the 1930s, Dr. Laughlin had moved on and was now living in Clarksville.
The United Brethren Church was sold to St. Herman's Orthodox Church.
Then there was “The Beer Bucket Special”...

The Beer Bucket Special was a nickname given the train. The CK&S Railroad ended in Woodbury, so the locomotive would have to be rotated on the turntable to head back. Men from some of the towns and villages in Barry County would hitch a ride on the train as it left for Woodbury. Why? It seems like a nice gesture to want to help turn the train around on the turntable, but the fact was, Barry was a dry county. No booze allowed. So once they arrived in Woodbury, they would fill their buckets up with beer to take back home...after helping with the train, of course.

The gallery below has some great old photos of Woodbury, with some of the buildings long gone: hotel, depot, store, and a few others.

Woodbury, Michigan: Past and Present


Unionville, Then-and-Now: 1900-2020s

Old Abandoned House in the UP Woods

Walhalla in Mason County: Then and Now Photos