This little town was originally an Indian village. When the white man came through and settled the area, it was named 'Merritt'. Once the Pere Marquette, Saginaw & Ludington Railroad came through, it was re-named 'Manistee Junction'. Finally, in 1905, it was re-re-named 'Walhalla', meaning both “haven of rest” and “banquet hall of the gods”. For some reason, there was a number of residents who called the village 'Butters'.

Walhalla was first a railroad stop, and the town was built around the depot. A town doctor, Dr. Barothy, was the one who came up with the name 'Walhalla' and later opened the Barothy Lodge, which still attracts tourists, well over 100 years later.

According to Shoreline Media, when Walhalla was on top of its game, there were up to 800 residents. Along with the usual establishments there was also a dance hall, the “Bonnie Belmont”, a couple of grocery stores, and the post fact, it was the only post office in the entire country that also sold alcohol. It was located in what later became the grocery store (deserted but still standing) and a new post office was built right across the street.

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What I find interesting is the progression of the old grocery store. It was once called 'Halliday's Grocery' and changed to 'Walhalla Grocery'. Over the years renovations occurred, and you can see the store's progression in the photo gallery below.

A few old abandoned buildings remain, including the popular Lone Oak Restaurant, famous for its steaks, now sitting deserted and rotting along the road. The old depot is long gone, but you can see a photo of it in the gallery.

Walhalla in Mason County: Then and Now Photos


Bailey, Michigan: Then and Now

Michigan (and a few other) Trading Posts: 1900-1950s

Old Jackson County Postal & Railroad Stations

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