Michigan's Van Buren County has a little town tucked away in Hartford Township just off I-94, sixteen miles west of Paw Paw.

This town was first settled in 1837 by Ferdino Olds. Not long afterward, the new community was inhabited by a number of residents who loved to booze it up. Alcohol was being lapped up in that wilderness as there was not much else to do by the end of the day...or in the afternoon...or during breakfast.

With too much alcohol consumption comes belligerence. With belligerence comes insults, nasty words, and soon punches are thrown, bottles are broken, skin is slashed, and blood is spilled. It was because of the townfolk's love of booze and the fighting that the community was called 'Bloody Corners'.

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Fortunately, that name didn't stick too long; in 1840 the town was named Hartford by another early settler, Burrell Olney (Olney later opened the 'Olney Bank'). The post office finally kicked off in 1856 and the town was platted in 1859. Along came the Pere Marquette Railroad in 1870 and the town was cemented in from then on.

Hartford is doing just fine in the 2000s, but unfortunately many of the old historic buildings are gone, few remaining. Sadly, the Hartford House hotel suffered a fire in April 2004 and was demolished not long afterward. Pictures of the Hartford Hotel are in the gallery below.

Although 'Bloody Corners' is a distant memory of the genesis of Hartford, it's an interesting little anecdote in Van Buren County's history.

Vintage Photos of Bloody Corners (Hartford), Michigan


Vintage Owosso 'Then-and-Now' Photos

Vintage Photos of Laingsburg

Vintage Photos of Lake Odessa

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