MICHIGAN GHOST TOWN: The Village Buried Within the Woods
The "Ghost Town of Bell" is buried within the Besser Bell Natural Area in Presque Isle County. In this forest lie the remains of what was once the logging town of Bell. It's easy to find: a little ways north of Alpena and a little south of Presque Isle, along Lake Huron.
The town grew around the Presque Isle Brick & Lumber Company, with a post office being established in 1884, closing in 1911. Once the post office shut down, residents moved away, and eventually everyone had vanished, leaving the town an empty shell.
You can hike through this area for yourself...it's only about a mile and a half so you won't have to walk a long way. Once inside the woods, you will come across what's left of this historic Michigan lumber town: a little graveyard that holds the original 1800's residents, pieces of old houses & buildings, an old broken safe, walls of an old general store, and a still-standing chimney. The graveyard is west of Besser Bell Road, a little ways away from the village remains (see photos).
Some say this now-extinct village is haunted, but I think it's a pretty darn cool slice of Michigan history to check out. Those who feel the land is haunted believe the spirits of Native Americans and old Bell residents are trying to discourage visitors, investigators, and tourists.
Best time to visit? before it gets too warm and leaves are off the trees, whether in spring or fall. Mosquitoes are thick during summer months.
Check out the photos below...they may encourage you to pay this very cool extinct Michigan town a visit this year!
As always, treat our state ghost towns with respect: don't vandalize, don't be obnoxious, and don't ruin it for others.