Michigan’s Own Version of ‘Sleepy Hollow': Sharon, Washtenaw County
Down in Washtenaw County is a little secluded glen that resembles the classic "Sleepy Hollow", as in the classic Ichabod Crane / Headless Horseman tale. In 1830, this township had no white people whatsoever. Only Native Americans traveled through this area, looking for places to fish and hunt along the Raisin River.
By 1833 the township was pretty much invaded & settled by the white man, mostly coming from New York. They chose the township name of 'Sharon' because they thought it was prettier than the other suggestions.
On March 7, 1834 the town had its name after being approved by Gov. George Porter.
Soon, businesses and establishments sprang up: schoolhouse, sawmill, blacksmith, grist mill, a wildcat bank (quickly shut down), Gillett's Church & cemetery (only the cemetery is left, just south of town), tavern, and grocery/general store.
According to the Manchester Area Historical Society website, "This restoration of a picturesque rustic village was done by Henry Ford.....one day Mr. Ford visited the quiet spot where the only noise to be heard was the hammer of the blacksmith on his anvil.....when the Ann Arbor Land Co. began purchasing property in and around Sharon Hollow, the blacksmith and storekeeper left. The village was deserted."
"The mill became a manufacturing plant, with.....stop light switches, cigarette lighters and armatures for passenger automobiles (being) manufactured."
Residents at the time felt the spirits & ghosts of Sharon Hollow's original settlers wouldn't be too happy with the direction the mill was taking, making material objects rather than basic staples and necessities. To this day, this little hollow is compared to the original "Sleepy Hollow," with just as many legends and ghost stories. Stop in and ask one of the old-timers for yourself.
Check out the photos below, then take a drive-thru and visit the old mill - still standing - at Sharon Hollow Park. A great hidden Michigan gem you should see...