Port Crescent: The Michigan Town That Completely Disappeared
The Pinnebog River (originally called the "Pinnepog River) at the tip of Michigan's thumb runs straight through what was once the town of Port Crescent.
The entire town, residents, houses and businesses are ALL GONE. All that's left are sandy areas where the town once stood and the Port Crescent Hawk Watch. The rest has been turned into a state park...and two and a half miles west are a slew of cottages along the shoreline near Hat Point.
Port Crescent - originally called "Pinnepog" was an extremely busy lumber town in it's heyday - 1864 thru 1881 - with seventeen city blocks and over 500 townspeople. The town had two sawmills, a couple of hotels, boarding house, two salt plants, school, barrel manufacturer, general store, various other stores, wagon factory, grist mill, shoe & boot factory, two blacksmiths, post office, railroad depot, roller rink, brewery, pump factory, telegraph office and church. This was not supposed to be one of Michigan's "temporary" lumber towns...this one was supposed to last.....but it wasn't to be.
Thanks to the Port Huron Fire of 1871 and the Thumb Fire of 1881, timber was depleted and the town's decline began. By the 1930's most remnants of the town were basically gone. The area’s 124 acres were purchased by the state in 1956; In 1959 it became part of the Port Crescent State Park. Even though local residents strongly objected, the old Pack & Woods Sawmill chimney was demolished in 1961. Too bad…it was the last remaining landmark of Port Crescent.
Looking at the photos, is hard to fathom that a prosperous town once stood here. If you pay a visit, you just might be able to spot some of the old foundations where a house, barn or shop once stood. Also, you'll probably spot flowers and types of bushes...these were more than likely planted by homeowners whose dwellings are long gone.
THE MICHIGAN TOWN THAT DISAPPEARED
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