Whatever you do, do not confuse the town of Paynesville with the town of Painesdale, two Michigan Upper Peninsula towns fifty-three miles apart. The residents in both places have been correcting out-of-towners for years and I’m sure they’re getting weary of it.

I’ve already blurbed about Painesdale a few years ago, so this time the focus is on Paynesville.

Paynesville sits with very few residents in McMillan Township, Ontonagon County (Painesdale is in Houghton County). Paynesville was settled in 1890 as a stop along the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railroad with a post office. And, to add even more confusion to the “Paynes-Paines” subject, Paynesville was also once called “Paynesdale’. In 1918, the railroad employed an operator/agent to only work days. By 1931, Paynesville was discontinued as an agency station, but they held onto a caretaker to look after the station.

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Paynesville - found along M-28 – was named after early settlers by the name of Payne (Etta, Henry, Sidney, and Willis), who were owners of several homesteads. There’s not much left of the old town except an old high school just off the main drag and sitting on North Paynesville Road, hard to see from M-28. The roof of the old school has collapsed but the school remains upright, disheveled, dilapidated, destroyed…but it is such a cool sight to see. To see a good picture of the school in its current condition, go HERE.

The other thing worth a look in Paynesville is the old church that sits at the southeast corner of the intersection of North Paynesville Road and Blacksmith Road…an original Finnish Lutheran church that makes a visit here intriguing.

Now the question: were both Paynesville and Painesdale named after the same person/people and was one a typo?

No, the two towns were named for different family names. Again, Paynesville after local settlers, and Painesdale after William Paine – the guy who created Paine-Webber brokers! Here are a few images of Paynesville in the gallery below…including a couple of hard ones to find.

What's Left of Paynesville, Michigan


Remains of Edsel Ford's Retreat

Remains of Kincheloe Air Force Base

WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

The Remains of Deserted Houses on Apple Island

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