The village of Turner in Arenac County was originally called Turnerville, after lumberman Joe Turner who settled there in the 1870’s on the site of Ojibwa tribe campgrounds. East of town, Joe formed a lumber company and proceeded to cut a trail in order to lay railroad tracks. Over time, he laid more tracks and added more lumber camps.

At its peak, thanks to Joe’s railroad that cut through town, Turner had a blacksmith, church, depot, general store, hotel, mill, post office, restaurant, roundhouse, saloon, schoolhouse, shoe store, and train repair facilities. It wasn’t to last…the railroad tracks were ripped up in 1886, by none other than Joe Turner himself. Once he dismantled his railroads, he transported the tracks to a different location to start lumbering away from Turner. Later on, the Detroit & Mackinaw Railroad took over and cut through town.

Years later, in 1915, the community was incorporated as a village.

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Today, even though there are still residents in Turner, old deserted downtown buildings and abandoned homes stand along the roads, inviting historians and curiosity seekers to check ‘em out.



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