MICHIGAN GHOST TOWN: Millville, in Ingham County
The Michigan town of Millville in White Oak Township, Ingham County, is not even a mere shell of itself anymore...it all but disintegrated except for the current church and township hall. When most people drive by the site, they are not even aware there was once a little village there. Sure, they see the church with the name "Millville" as part of the church's title, but most figure it's just a name.
Today, it's considered one of Michigan's ghost towns, even though nobody writes about it or takes the time to delve into any history on Millville.
However, those of us who've been around a few decades are well aware of Millville, and remember it just before it almost totally vanished.
What we remember most vividly is the old general store that stood on the east side of Stockbridge Road...a place where people from Stockbridge would drive to in order to get those awesome ice cream cones the store sold. It was sadly demolished in 1968 so M-52 could be expanded.
There's not much written or historically annotated about Millville but I'll share what I found:
According to ingham.migenweb.net, the land that became White Oak Township was founded and owned by James Reeves in 1836 (although one Daniel Dutcher was the first settler a year earlier in 1835, which seems to have been proven true). After Reeves and others came to the area in 1836, and enjoyed the hospitality of the Daniel Dutcher family, Reeves claimed & eventually owned the land, which he subsequently sold and then moved a few miles away to Stockbridge. Another owner built a sawmill near what would become known as Millville. Soon, White Oak Township boasted more businesses: a cooper shop, grist mill, two general stores and a post office.
According to a 1939 map of Millvile at historicmapworks.com, there was even a school house there. I tend to believe the old general store where we bought our ice cream cones was built in the late 1800's, although I have no record of it.
So what happened to all the businesses? Why did they all disappear into nothingness?
Any other significant info on Millville is exrtremely welcome!
Check out the photo gallery above for pictures of the current Millville.