Frog Mountain School and the Lost Town of Ray, Michigan
In the center of Ray Township in Macomb County lies what used to be the community of Ray. Ray is considered to be one of Michigan's 'lost' towns, and it tends to be confused with nearby Ray Center. Are they one and the same or two different locations?
Ray Center began when land was purchased in 1824. The township of Ray was organized in 1827, named and spelled “Rhea” by Noah Webster. We are led to believe that he is THE Noah Webster who created the first true American dictionary, but I haven't seen anywhere else if this was a different Noah Webster or not. A post office opened in 1846, closed and re-opened in 1872, and closed for good in 1906.
The actual community of 'Ray' was created when a post office opened there in 1827. It closed in June 1868.
All fine and mildly historic, but the interesting thing about Ray was the old one-room schoolhouse that lied on the east side of Ray Center Road, lovingly nicknamed Frog Mountain School. It's believed the school dates back to the 1850s when it was built as the 'Warner School', named after Warner Campbell, on whose property it sat. The school was surrounded by a lot of water, more so after a rain storm or when the winter snow melted. The standing water became home to various critters – mainly frogs, whose croaking could be loudly heard in the community. Thus, they nicknamed the school “Frog Mountain.”
This was a cool old schoolhouse...but on top of time beating it down, a windstorm came along in the late 2010s and blew the back half off. The front remained standing. Whether the rest of the school was torn down or burned, either way it's now completely gone...nothin' there but an empty blot where it used to be, now all covered in grass and weeds.
The old school location is between the roads of 27 Mile and 28 Mile, on Ray Center Road. Thanks to Jeff Bondono for the great pics of the school seen in the gallery below...!
Frog Mountain School, Macomb County
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