Once a Village, Now Reduced to a Small Neighborhood: Grawn, Michigan
In the late 1870s a man named James Blackwood platted a new town in Blair Township, Grand Traverse County. Since he owned most of the land in the area, he figured he would name this new town “Blackwood”.
In 1890 the railroad came through and with it a station that was christened as Grawn Station. In October of that year, a post office was added to the community, it dropped "Station" from the name, and was called 'Grawn' from then on.
The name 'Grawn' came from professor Charles Grawn. He was originally the superintendent of the State Normal School in Mt. Pleasant; he quit in 1884 and came to Traverse City, becoming the superintendent of the city schools. Mr. Grawn was also the grandfather of former Michigan governor William Milliken (on his mother's side).
The town of Grawn seemed to be growing and doing well; soon the town had a barber shop, drug store, three general stores, hardware store, hotel, millinery shop, produce company, saloon, two sawmills, and a shingle mill. Now in the 2020s, all those store and businesses are gone.
In the 2020s, Grawn retains its post office, and the old hotel which was later used as a gas station and party store still stands at the end of State & Brooks streets. The old downtown Main Street's east side lost all its classic old stores and shops, replaced by a few homes. The west side of Main Street still has the old houses. Main Street's name has been changed to State Street; the former hub and “place to be” in Grawn, once a busy business section and saloon hangout, is now just a lonely, regular street.
This little triangle of land that was once known as Grawn, has now been sucked up as a part of the Traverse City area. Travelers would probably never know this was once an active little village. See for yourself in the photo gallery below...
The Shadow Town of Grawn, Michigan