HIDDEN MICHIGAN: Alaiedon, the Ingham County Town That Never Existed
How many times have you driven past a sign that mentions "Alaiedon Township"? Have you ever wondered about it? Or if there ever was a town called "Alaiedon"?
Well, sorta kind of.....
According to Wikipedia, the land was surveyed in 1827, in a location that came to be called "Alaiedon Center," and settled by mostly Germans in 1836.
Wikipedia says "(Alaiedon Township) was formally organized in 1842, and was named by Henry Schoolcraft, who came up with a pseudo Native American name he claimed meant 'hill land for excellent living'.....the township consisted of what is today Lansing, Meridian, Delhi and Alaiedon townships.....(they) would be spun off in 1842 to give the township the boundaries it has to this day."
In 1837, the first town - Jefferson City - was founded. Today, there are no remnants of the city (unless they're buried within the brush & foliage or underground), it's location can be found today at the corner of Hagadorn and Lamb roads near Mud Creek (SEE PHOTO GALLERY). (Wanna take a metal detector and explore?)
So what happened to Jefferson City?
According to ingham.migenweb.net, "...and in Alaiedon Township was laid out a city, appearing finely on paper and having a glorious (hoped-for) future before it. This was the village of Jefferson, which was platted on section 29......the village was laid out in 1838. The plat was never recorded in Ingham County, and probably nowhere else. Thirteen log dwellings were erected previous to 1840, and also a log school-house....(and a) saw-mill on the creek..."
It wasn't officially platted, making it legally non-existent. Not legal means no property deeds were forthcoming. So the people who were living there abandoned the town, which to this day shows little signs of ever existing.
Another possible reason?
"(the city of) Mason.....was at once pushed to the front, and maintained its supremacy over all other villages in the county.....and had its future assured as soon as the place had been platted."
So there you go. From the information I've read, it seems there was never an actual town named Alaiedon, just the township...but there WAS a town briefly (Jefferson) and you can visit that lonely intersection and see for yourself (SEE LOCATION IN THE PHOTOS ABOVE). If you go to the intersection of Hagadorn and Lamb, sit and try to imagine a town that was trying to spring up there, with a good number of log homes and a couple of businesses that failed.
There is so much to discover.....Michigan is such an awesome state.