Villages of Shiawassee Township That Have Fallen off the Radar
Recently, while doing a little research on Shiawassee County's lost town of Shiawassee (which you can read about HERE), I found some other little-known communities in Shiawassee Township.
Hartwellville didn't last very long.
Fremont started out great but dwindled.
Newburg had a good amount of businesses, but most of them went away.
Bancroft is the only one that grew and prospered.
Hartwellville didn't have much to begin with, except for a school and post office. It was mainly a postal station and became the first to go.
Newburg first settled by Hosea Baker in 1833, was named after Newburgh-on-the Hudson, New York, the hometown of another early settler, Dr. Nicholas Harder. It showed some promise with a mill along the Shiawassee River and a good amount of shops. Today it's mostly residences.
Fremont was settled in 1841 as “Florence”. John Gilbert and Isaac Banks constructed a store and post office, and soon there were three saloons, schoolhouse, and church. When a railroad came through Shiawassee Township, the village missed out and declined from there. Fremont's businesses are gone, but the cemetery remains.
Bancroft would benefit the most from the railroad. Bancroft's prosperity is due in part to its location along the Chicago & Lake Huron Railroad beginning in 1877. Becoming a village in 1883, the railroad ran between Flint and Lansing, bringing travelers and business. Aside from a good many shops and businesses, there were churches, a flour mill, two elevators, planing mill, sawmill, and schoolhouse. The depot has been since demolished and the town is doing fine.
The gallery below shows the locations of all these little Shiawassee Township communities and would make an interesting afternoon roadtrip some weekend!