Vintage Photos of Parma, Michigan: 1900-2000s
The village of Parma sits on the border of Parma and Sandstone Townships in Jackson County. Before the name of 'Parma' became official, it went through a few changes.
To me, the most interesting aspect of the community is when it was in a different location. The current village of Parma sits a little over a mile west of its original locale. This spot was called “Gidley's Station” along the Michigan Central Railroad. It even had its own postal service, as you will see postmarked letters in the photo gallery below. The old depot still exists, and is now used as a bed & breakfast. Each year, many travelers going to M.I.S. stay here.
After arriving to the area in 1833, Eli Gould and his brother James decided to settle and make something of it. The village was platted in 1848 by James, who decided to give it the name “Groveland”. This moniker came from an impressive grove of trees that was in the community. In fact, there is still a small part of that grove still existing, and sits at the junction of Grove Street and Westlawn Avenue.
The village got its own post office in 1862 and was re-named 'Parma' after a town in New York where some of the original settlers were from. Incorporated in 1864, the town also acquired the nickname 'Cracker Hill'.
In December 2014, a fire broke out downtown, devastating the building at 212 W. Main, putting ten people out of their homes.
The gallery below shows some great old photos of Parma, many going back over one hundred years, and even some “then-and-now” comparisons. It's a good place to visit some weekend afternoon!