MICHIGAN SMALL TOWN: Bentley, in Bay County
The village of Bentley started out as a post office in 1890. The post office and the Michigan Central Railroad contributed to the brief success the town experienced through the next few decades.
Bentley had a bakery, bank, boarding house, cheese factory, church, doctor, garage, drug store, elevator, general store, grist mill, hardware store, hoop factory, several hotels, restaurant, saloon, sawmill, shingle mills, "Traveler's Home", and other shops and stores.
The top population for Bentley was 500, which peaked in the 1920's.....and once the railroad closed down, most of the town did as well.
Nowadays, all the stores, shops & businesses have vanished, all except the Bentley Bar, some homes, and a couple of churches. Another sad tale of a promising Michigan town that suffered from the lack of travelers, thanks to the railroad closing down.
Take a drive-thru someday and learn a little more about one of our seldom-talked-about Michigan villages.