The town of Paris in Mecosta County was settled in 1867 by John Parish. It was to be called 'Parish' but someone left off the 'h' and 'Paris' it became - permanently.

A sawmill was erected and the town soon grew to 400 residents. During the 1870s Paris had a blacksmith, doctors, general stores, grocery store, harness maker, hotels, post office, saloons, and a shoe maker.

Then, on May 26, 1879, the town was stuck with tragedy when a fire broke out in the rear of one of the general stores. Just about everything was destroyed: hotel, crockery store, general stores, houses, barns, stables, and post office.

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The pride of Paris is the State Fish Hatchery, which has been around since 1881 and still attracting travelers. The hatchery became a public park in 1976 for all to visit. I walked all up and down the ponds and saw all those huge fish...even fed some of 'em.

What would Paris be without its own version of the Eiffel Tower? Well, it has one. In 1980, students from Big Rapids decided to turn metal from old beds into a 20-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Park. It's located down a path that leads into the woods where the tower sits...I went there and saw it myself.

Some maps don't list Paris anymore and hardly any of the structures that burned in 1879 were some sites call Paris a 'ghost town' but I don't think it's ready to be labeled as such.

The Shadow Town of Paris


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