MICHIGAN GHOST TOWN: Deward, the Crawford County Town That Completely Vanished
Down a few winding dirt roads deep within Michigan's aptly-named Black Forest and Wilderness Valley, lies what's left of the town of Deward.....halfway between the towns of Gaylord and Grayling a few miles west of I-75. What's left of Deward? NOTHING...except a few oil pumps that have invaded the land.
Even though there are NO buildings and NO residents left (SEE PHOTOS ABOVE), there are hidden treasures and antiques to be found by anyone who wants to search...either with a shovel, metal detector or just plain looking through the underbrush. Curiosity seekers have already uncovered many items from the old days of Deward, and they say there are plenty more to be found. (To see many pictures of scraps that have already been found by treasure-seekers, check out this photo gallery from mlive.com.)
The town of Deward didn't last very long...approximately only ten years, from the late 1800's into the early 1900's. The land was owned by David Ward of W. Bloomfield (hence the eventual naming of the town, "D. Ward" or "Deward"), whose main business was lumber. An impressive lumber mill was erected but quickly closed down, around 1912...more than likely thanks to Ward's will, that stated the mill shut down after a ten-year period.
There are plenty of building remnants to be found: foundations, concrete slabs, posts, bricks, part of the old mill, scrap metal, tools, etc.
This could be a 'ghost town' search for you that would be a lotta fun...yes, you'll have to travel down various dirt roads to get there - some maybe even one-laners, but it'll be worth it to visit this little slice of Michigan history.
To see where it is, check the photo gallery above!