MICHIGAN GHOST TOWN: Jefferson, in Jackson County
If you live almost anywhere in Jackson County, you probably know where Jefferson Road is.....south of Jackson/Vandercook Lake off 127, where you turn left to get to either Clark lake or Brooklyn. Almost 4 miles eastward down Jefferson is the junction of Jefferson & Hewitt. It was at this junction where the town of Jefferson once stood. In fact, a few of the original old buildings and homes are still standing, as reminders of a once-prosperous town that has been long-forgotten.
Nearby Goose Creek and Lake Columbia (named Jefferson Mill Pond before it became Lake Columbia) seemed a perfect place to begin a settlement, and that's just what Anson DeLamater and three pals accomplished in the spring of 1834.
Over the next two or three decades, the village had quite a few businesses pop up: two blacksmiths, church, two general stores, grist mill, saw mill, schoolhouse, sorghum mill, wagon shop and a wool mill.
In the late 1860's, a railroad was proposed to go through the area, either through Jefferson or nearby Brooklyn. Unfortunately for the village of Jefferson, the rail company accepted Brooklyn's proposal and that where the tracks were laid. Thanks to no railroad coming through to bring more trade and business, Jefferson slowly began to dwindle.
"Jefferson" continues to show up on some Michigan maps.
If you decide to visit, you can see some original structures, all of which are believed to be occupied. Also still around is the Jefferson Cemetery and the old town hall on Wesch Road (SEE PHOTOS BELOW), reminders of a village that once existed and prospered.
Always ask permission to investigate ANY abandoned structures you may find.