Across southern Michigan, reaching from Chicago to Detroit, is an old stagecoach trail, formerly an old Indian route called The Old Sauk Trail. Now called just plain US-12, it remains a relic of the old stagecoach trail, with many of the old stagecoach stops that have turned into small towns that dot the highway. One of those towns is Edwardsburg, in Cass County.

Ezra Beardsley became the first settler here in 1826, calling his new home ‘Beardsley’s Prairie’. In 1828, Thomas Edwards arrived (more on him in a few seconds) but first:

1828: Post office is established as “St. Joseph”
1829: School opens in the home of Thomas Edwards
1830: Post office re-named “Edwardsburgh” after Thomas Edwards (because he married Beardsley’s daughter)
1830: Baptist church established
1832: Railroad travel comes through
1837: Methodist church
1837: Town becomes officially known as “Edwardsburgh”
1845: Postmaster orders the ‘h’ to be dropped, becoming “Edwardsburg”
1871: Peninsular (Grand Trunk) Railroad completes; businesses return to town
1874: First newspaper, The Index
1875: The Index is replaced by The Edwardsburg Argus
1877: Presbyterian church
1923: New brick school is built
1939: US-12 is paved

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In Edwardsburg’s peak days, the ever-growing town boasted a blacksmith, boot & shoe stop, drug stores, furniture shop, general stores, grist mill, grocery store, hardware stores, harness shops, livery stable, lumber mill, millineries, sweet shop, and wagon makers. Over 20 shops and businesses to serve over 500 people.

With a current population of over 1,200 residents, most of the old businesses are gone and most of the current ones are located along US-12 to cater to travelers.

It may not sound like much, but it is an important stop on the old trail...filled with history as part of Michigan’s stagecoach run and the former “Old Sauk Trail.” Take a run across US-12 some weekend and see all the cool old stagecoach stops and more historic spots you may not be aware of. The gallery below features many old photos of Edwardsburg, from 1990-1920s...

Vintage Photos of Edwardsburg, Cass County


Vintage Photos of Montrose

Vintage Frankenmuth

Walker Tavern

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