Eschol, a Michigan Ghost Town That Only Lasted from 1833-1840
Eschol was a community in Constantine Township in St. Joseph County near Three Rivers.....it only lasted seven years: 1833 to 1840.
Platted in 1833, it had plenty of streets: Cass, Fayette, LaGrange, Nottawa, Short and Water, all ran east-to-west. Lake, Pigeon and St. Joseph streets ran north-to-south.
What's left of this village? Not much. But some say if you brave the underbrush you can find old rocks & stones that were from the old mill, a few old wooden cottage posts and lilac bushes that were planted in the 1830's. Some old apple trees that were planted at the same time are still there as well. You can find the lilac bush on the high hillsaide that overlooks the Prairie River.
So what happened to the town?
In 1832 a dam was constructed across Hog Creek (now known as Prairie River). According to hmdb.org, "The mill race made an island of about sixty acres of highland, on which stood the hamlet of Eschol. Where the race entered the St. Joseph, Judge Fitch installed a busy water wheel to drive a saw mill, later a shingle mill and two run of small gristing stones."
The village of Eschol was prospering and gave the neighboring Three Rivers a run for its money. But then, in 1840, the dam collapsed, businesses were abandoned and the townsfolk deserted. No one ever had the ambition to rebuild the dam and Eschol became a forgotten village - and footnote - in Michigan history.
Eschol is not totally forgotten...it has it's own stone marker near Three Rivers on Constantine Road just a few feet north of Shorewood Drive. The site stands on what is now the Frank Fitch farm, south of Three Rivers.
Always seek permission to explore on private property...and be respectful when you do.