This unassuming little intersection sits out in the Michigan boondocks, not advertising that it was once known as Burnham Crossing. Named after early resident H.W. Burnham, it's also been referred to as Burnham Station, Burnham, Burham, and Burnhan.

Burnham Crossing was a station along the Ann Arbor Railroad, en route between Mount Pleasant and Clare. Looking at the 1899 atlas can be confusing, as there is a listing for “Russell P.O.” right smack dab at the Burnham Crossing station; it was named after Edwin Russell, one of Vernon Township's early inhabitants.

Not only did Burnham Crossing have a railroad depot and post office, but in 1875 there were also two brick kilns, a boarding house, lumber storage facility, sawmill, schoolhouse, township hall, and warehouse.

In 1896 the sawmill burned down, and seeing the writing on the wall, the depot shut down. It was purchased, moved, and renovated into a residence by William McKay. The post office followed suit and discontinued its mail service. All that remains is the township hall.

You very possibly could have driven through this intersection, not knowing there was once a promising little village there. Take another drive-thru during a roadtrip; not much to see, but you can at least acknowledge what it used to be.

Located at the intersection of E. Stevenson Lake and North Mission roads, Vernon Township, Isabella County.

Look below for photos, atlases, and location!

 

Enter your number to get our free mobile app