MICHIGAN GHOST TOWN: The Remains of Kensington
The non-existent village of Kensington resides in Oakland County and was eventually wiped out completely by the railroad, bad business deals, greed…and the construction of I-96 and Kensington Metropark.
WAS SETTLED IN 1831.
HAD A POST OFFICE NAMED ‘LYON’ BY 1834.
WAS PLATTED AND RE-NAMED ‘KENSINGTON’ IN 1836.
HAD 300 RESIDENTS IN 1854.
Kensington became a popular stagecoach stop along the Grand River Trail, heavily traveled between Grand Rapids and Detroit. But when the “Detroit, Lansing and Lake Michigan Railroad” was constructed in 1871 and the “Michigan Air Line Railroad” in 1882, they intentionally passed up a route to Kensington, instead going to Milford and South Lyon, diverting business & travelers away from town. Lack of sufficient water power, villagers not paying their bills & leaving town and a national banking crisis also played a key role in the town’s disintegration. The post office closed in 1902 and by 1905 only four families remained!
In the 1950’s, any old remaining buildings were foolishly leveled and destroyed by the planners & builders of Kensington Metropark and golf course.
To see the remnants of some of these old buildings, you can do so by visiting the Kensington Metropark. If you start hiking down the Aspen Trail, you’ll come across old home foundations, farm equipment and more leftovers from the old days of Kensington.
Get on I-96 and get off Exit 151. The park is north of I-96, east of Kensington Road. Go two miles to the entrance of the nature center.
To read more about Kensington’s history – with LOTS of detail – CLICK HERE.