The Shadow Town of Azalia: Monroe County, Michigan
I never knew there was this much to know about this mostly ignored little Michigan village that lies in Monroe County's Milan Township.
Azalia was first called East Milan. It was also referred to as Reeves Station when the Reeves family arrived and began operating their own business, the Star Bending Company.
In 1869, the village opened a post office on August 4. Daniel T. Hazen was responsible for implementing the post office, because he was tired of having to travel to West Milan to pick up his mail (West Milan is now known as Cone). Steven Frink was the first postmaster (picture below), followed by Hazen, Joseph Meadows, John M. Lewis and A.C. Reynolds.
The Toledo, Ann Arbor & Northern Railway came through beginning in June 1878, naming their station "Azalia". The name did not come from azalea flowers as one may think, but named after Azalia Ashley, a daughter of the railroad president. In 1887, the postmaster-general finally changed the P.O. name to "Azalia" after the railroad station, which it has remained to this day.
A Methodist Church began services in the 1850s, finally building a church in 1870. This church is still there and is a pretty cool sight to see.
Azalia remains a charming, unincorporated community and seems to enjoy its anonymity, tucked away out in the countryside. It makes for an interesting little drive-thru next time you're in that area. Check out some photos below!
AZALIA: NOW AND THEN
MORE MICHIGAN SMALL TOWNS:
Long Rapids, Then & Now
Vintage Sherman, Michigan
Vintage Photos of Pullman