FORGOTTEN MICHIGAN TOWN: Plainfield in Livingston County
The unincorporated town of Plainfield is northeast of Stockbridge and northwest of Gregory. Even though it qualifies as a ghost town, I'm not sure how the residents would take to that title. It can also be called a partially-abandoned town, forgotten town, lost town and/or isolated village. Either way, it's an historic Michigan village and cool to visit.
Up into the 1800's, the site - which would eventually be named “Plainfield” - was favored by the Indians as a place to camp, as many Indian trails culminated to this area.
Then, in 1835, two men from New Jersey – Levi Clawson & Jacob Dunn – came here, purchased some land and settled. They were joined the following year by another New Jerseyan, Philip Dyer; soon afterward, the 'town' was named after this man (for some reason), “Dyersburg.” The newly-established post office was named “Plainfield P.O” in 1837, after another New Jersey town of the same name.
Aside from the post office (which ceased operation in 1913), Plainfield had two saloons (one owned by Dyer, another by Dunn), a school, M. Topping & Son General Store, O.L. Smith General Store, co-op shop, stave mill, planing mill, Presbyterian Church with attached cemetery (the cemetery's still there, but the church is gone), Methodist Church and two blacksmith shops (SEE PHOTOS BELOW FOR LOCATIONS OF SOME OF THESE LONG-GONE BUSINESSES).
Only a few of these buildings remain and it's a great place to drive thru for some photo ops. As always, get' em while you can, cuz ya never know how much longer some of these historic buildings will stay standing, thanks to some land developer who might come along and knock 'em down.
Why didn't Plainfield grow and prosper like nearby towns Stockbridge and Gregory? A good likelihood is that the railroad was laid through those two towns and completely bypassed Plainfield.
It's a nice slice of the past that still waits for visitors.