GHOST TOWN: The Once-Booming Village of Brinton, Isabella County, Michigan
The Michigan ghost town of Brinton is located in Isabella County in Coldwater Township, with settlers arriving in 1862. In 1886, a post office was established in the store owned by Sam Letson; two years later, the P.O. was moved a mile north to the village of Brinton. The town was called "Letson" but renamed after Oscar Brinton, one of the area's earliest settlers and owner of the local charcoal kilns that brought capital into town. So much so, that Brinton was nicknamed "Coal Town" and "Charcoal Town".
The charcoal kilns had a short life, operating from 1888-1896. Timber was depleted and the railroad ceased coming through town.
Between 1862 and 1910, the village boasted many businesses: blacksmith, church, drug store, farm implement shop, hardware store, harness maker, hotel, two general stores, grocery store, meat market and various saloons. All that stands today is a church and an old hotel that was turned into a home.
While the town was still hot, people from all over would come to Brinton to enjoy Saturday night dances and parties
So what happened? Fire. Most of (if not all) the businesses burned to the ground and seemingly no effort was made to rebuild the once prosperous town.
The Brinton cemetery is north of town and it's interesting to see the old gravemarkers of the people who originally settled that town...and died for it.
I drove through Brinton and explored it a few years ago, and it's an interesting little stop. Brinton is located in Isabella County in Coldwater Township.
Pay a visit...make it a short stop during your Michigan roadtrip this summer!