Durand lies in Shiawassee County and was originally called 'Vernon Center' after the township. The land that became Durand was owned by Dr. L.D. Jones, Mary Miller, and William Young in 1836, who sold the land for the town's growth. After being platted, it was given a post office, named after congressman George Durand.

Durand's major claim to fame comes from the Union Station depot. It was constructed in 1903 and became a major hub of rail travel and transportation, thanks to the Grand Trunk Railroad and Ann Arbor railroad crossing. The amount of rail travel was incredible for that part of Michigan: a peak of 78 freight trains, 22 mail trains, and 42 passenger trains came through every day, making a daily total of 142 trains and up to 3,000 passengers. Luckily, it survived a fire in 1905 and still stands in the 2020s.

That high number of train activity was not without its tragedies. It seemed that every generation lost a child who got too close to the tracks while playing...and not paying attention to the oncoming trains. Not only that, but there was the infamous Circus Train Wreck of 1903, that you can read about HERE. Connecting all those people with all that hubbub, there came a good number of saloons: no less than ten.

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With all that alcohol flowing came the inevitable fights; tough guys from other towns would hitch a ride to Durand to fight their tough guys. But that wasn't the only negative thing: some oldtimers recalled the KKK coming to town and holding rallies against the local Catholics.

Take a look at the gallery below for some vintage photos of Durand from 1900-1920s...

Vintage Photos of Durand, Michigan


Vintage Photos of Old 27

Vintage Photos of Montrose

Vintage Frankenmuth

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