North Manitou Island in Leelanau County, northwest of Traverse City, contains a couple of villages considered to be ghost towns. The island's first settlers arrived in the 1840's, with businessman Nicholas Pickard opening a cord wood mill which supplied fuel for steamships.

There were several sawmills on the entire island, and the only one left is in North Manitou, built in 1927, equipped with machinery dating back to the 1870's. North Manitou is located on the east side of the island and was once the center of the community.

Another island ghost town, Crescent, was on the west side of the island. So named because of the shape of the coastline on which it stood (SEE PHOTOS BELOW). Crescent began growing in 1906 and became a major supplier of lumber.

Nowadays there is NOTHING left of Crescent, but at one time it had a blacksmith, boarding house, general store, saloon, sawmill, and warehouse. The saloon was turned into a schoolhouse during the week and a church on weekends. Crescent also had two baseball teams! One was made up entirely of members of the Chippewa and Ottawa tribes.

The Crescent mill finally shut down in 1915, and since the entire town's power was supplied by the mill, the town soon became empty of residents and buildings. The mill was dismantled by the Smith & Hull Company, moved off the island, and the other businesses and homes were soon torn down as well.

The photos below show you the location of Crescent, where the mill still stands, the awesome old graveyard, some early settlers' former home sites, and more.

You are free to visit the island and these historic towns (even though Crescent is COMPLETELY gone), so take plenty of footage and pics when you go!


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