The Ghost Towns of Allenville & Moran, Michigan
One of my favorite places to visit when I go into the U.P. is Allenville & Moran, two towns less than a mile apart. They both lie in Mackinac County, Brevort Township...in the entire township, these are the ONLY two communities.
Allenville is a true ghost town - Moran has been called one, but it's more populated. Allenville began as a station on the Detroit, Mackinac & Marquette Railroad and was originally known as "Alley Town" named after the founder of the Alley Lumber Company, J. Alley, in 1873. A fire broke out in 1882 and almost wiped out the entire town. The main business was a structure that was a combination post office, general store and hotel.
The first time I visited Allenville many years ago, I was able to get into that old store (SEE PHOTOS). It had been closed for good since 1958 but there were still letters in the mail slots, groceries still on the shelves (I remember jars of mayonnaise that had turned brown from sitting there for so many years) and old magazines from the 1920's. I went upstairs and there were old hotel rooms just like you'd see in "Gunsmoke." There was a wash bowl on the dresser that a tenant would have to fill with pitcher water in order to wash. Unfortunately, all those great old items are no longer there........I think. Across the street in the field was the Brevort Dairy, whose remains can still be seen from the air and the road.
Moran was created as "Jacob City" after the president of Detroit's German Land Company. He ended up being a crook and was fired; around 1880 the town was re-named "Moran" after William B. Moran of the same company.
Allenville has a nice handful of old buildings still standing that are great photo ops. Moran has a few more, and it's worth driving down the back roads of both to see even more old buildings & houses that have been abandoned.
Take a look at the photos and see for yourself...then make sure you drive thru on your next Michigan roadtrip to the U.P.....but, as always, get pictures while you can cuz ya never know when someone will tear these old structures down.
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