MICHIGAN GHOST TOWN: Francisco, in Jackson County
"What is this?"
It's a ghost town.
"But there are quite a few houses there."
True, but the entire business section is gone.
"So what? People still live there."
Yes, but there was actually a thriving downtown, railroad station and business section.
So, the town of Francisco doesn't exist anymore. The trades, post office, depots and businesses are all gone, taking the town's name along with 'em, and off maps as well.
"But the homes...."
...are simply homes without a town.
Four-and-a-half miles northeast of Grass Lake lies a group of homes & houses that was once known as the village of Francisco. Francisco was settled in 1834, eight years before the village of Grass Lake even started. It was originally named "Franciscoville" after Associate Circuit Judge Henry A. Francisco who became the village's first postmaster in 1843. Sometime around 1877, the town's name was shortened to "Francisco."
The town did well, sitting alongside the Michigan Central Railroad and handling TWO separate depots. Many businesses opened up, including a blacksmith, general store, church, schoolhouse and mercantile shop.
A schoolhouse was on the east side of Francisco Road, halfway between Clear Lake Rd. and Bohne Rd. A couple of the current houses in that area look like one of 'em may have been converted from the old schoolhouse. Approximately 100-200 feet south of the railroad tracks once stood a church. That, too, very well may have been converted into one of the houses there. However, according to the 1911 atlas, it appears that the church no longer existed but one still exists just north on Bohne Rd.
In its heyday, Francisco had several stores, a church, the post office and a blacksmith shop. The post office closed in 1914. Once it closed down, the businesses in Francisco began shutting down, one-by-one, over the years, some moving to Grass Lake, others closing for good. Nowadays there are no shops, stores or businesses left in the former Francisco, but many original houses still stand, occupied.
I've tried to be as accurate as possible with what little information I could find. Any extra info is most welcome.
Drive-thru the old Francisco area anytime and see where a once-thriving town once stood in Grass Lake Township...located at the railroad tracks on N. Francisco Road and at the junction of Francisco and Bohne Rds!