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MICHIGAN GHOST TOWN: Dollar Settlement

Dollar Settlement is one of those places in the U.P. whose history is hard to pin down.

The thing that lets you know you’re in Dollar Settlement is an old abandoned Pullman (train) car, sitting on the corner. Locals say it was placed there with the intention of becoming a diner…but, either interest was lost or there wasn’t a big enough budget to sustain it, but it never happened. So it just sits there, getting older.

Dollar Settlement sits on the shore of Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior. It’s not to be confused with Dollarville, which is 50 miles west. More than likely, however, both were named after lumber baron Robert Dollar. But why is Dollar Settlement so far away from Dollarville? It could be that’s where the ships docked to be filled with transporting/exporting lumber.

Robert Dollar did not stay in Michigan very long. He came from Canada to Marquette in 1885 and moved to California in 1888. He made a huge impact in his short time here, as not only those two communities are named after him, but so is Roberts Corner (just a tad south of Dollarville), not to mention Dollar Bay, Dollar Lake Road and Dollar Street, all in the U.P…..and his steamship, the ‘Robert Dollar’.

There’s not much left to Dollar Settlement, except a few old structures and the Dollar Settlement Cemetery, just 2 miles south.

No roadmaps or old atlases seem to even list Dollar Settlement, but Google Maps does. It’s a wee bit mysterious, as its origin and history seems to evade most historians. Now, Dollarville is another whole story, and you can find out about that town by clicking HERE.

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