LOST MICHIGAN TOWN: Mapleton, in Midland County
There are more things than just the village name of 'Mapleton' that has disappeared in this community. This one-time village was located at the very tip of the southeast Midland town border, east across the Tittabawassee River.
John A. Whitman is officially known as the first settler in the area, arriving and making his farmland home in 1844. Calling this area "The Bluffs", Whitman's property was straight across the river from the Blackbird Indian Reservation.
Like many other defunct Michigan towns, Mapleton was a lumber town and was soon called "Smith's Crossing", the 'crossing' signifying the intersection of the railroad and Bailey Bridge Road. When Bailey Bridge Road reaches its intersection with S. Saginaw Road, the name changes to Smith's Crossing Road. Down that road is an abandoned bridge, which they say you should not try to cross - even on foot - because of its neglected condition.
Mapleton had a depot and was a place where passengers could get off the train and catch easy transportation to Midland, just minutes away.
By 1910, the population had dwindled to 35, thanks to the depletion of timber and the lumber business disappearing. The town was now officially known as "Smith's Crossing, appearing with that name in Michigan atlases. Curiously, the church still bears Mapleton's name.
As the years dragged on, Mapleton/Smith's Crossing got swallowed up by ever-growing Midland, and is now a part of that city.
See the photos below to see what it looks like these days!
1910 population: 35