MICHIGAN HISTORY: The Burning of the Historic Unadilla Store
Unadilla is not a ghost town but it's largely forgotten and overlooked by most people who don't live within a 50-mile radius. However, the residents of all the surrounding communities have had a fondness for Unadilla for decades.
The community known as Unadilla was originally a post office named "Milan" in 1834.....but the name had to be changed, due to another Milan already established in Michigan. Therefore, they decided to make it easy and re-named the post office "Unadilla" after the township. The area became known as the "Village of East Unadilla," thanks to another unincorporated community, a little over two miles west that called themselves the "Village of Unadilla" in 1837.
"Village of East Unadilla" was soon shortened to just plain "Unadilla" and "Village of Unadilla" was abandoned...it later became known as "Williamsville."
In 1918, a tornado ripped thru Unadilla, practically leveling all the downtown, except the Unadilla store and the building next door. Only one original downtown business structure still stands (but some great old homes are still around and preserved nicely).
And then in January 2015, a fire broke out and burned the historic Unadilla Store to the ground (SEE BELOW FOR PHOTOS OF THE STORE BEFORE AND AFTER THE FIRE). The store - dating back to around 1873 - had been recognized as an historical site by the State of Michigan. It was well-loved by most everyone in the area and surrounding communities: Stockbridge, Gregory, Pinckney, Dexter, Chelsea and others. It was one of the few places you could buy good old-time candy, pop, snacks, ice cream cones, comic books and more...growing up, it was a kid's paradise.
Now the structure that was next to it is the only original downtown building still standing, even though it, too, was damaged in the 2015 fire.
The old Unadilla Store was the heart of the area and the community lost a good part of their childhood and a good chunk of history as well. For an extremely old Michigan community, it's kept up very well and lies in a beautiful countryside area.
Pay a visit and drive through sometime.