The Michigan ‘Lost’ Town That Was “Made” from Shingles
The village of Shingleton in Alger County began as a station on the Detroit, Mackinaw & Marquette Railroad in 1882. It was originally named ‘Jeromeville’ after Michigan governor David H. Jerome (the first native-born Michigan governor).
The town grew around a shingle mill, and their main source of income was timber. Along with shingles, they manufactured telephone poles, railroad ties, and wood for furniture. Many structures that still stand in the town are referred to by some as "shingle shacks".
When a post office was established, the community was dubbed “Shingletown” or simply “Shingleton”. The post office operated from 1887 to 1897, and was brought back to life in 1891.
In 1951, the Cusino Corrections Prison Work Camp was created in Shingleton. In 1996, due to state prison overcrowding, the camp was forced to accept more violent prisoners, without the town residents’ knowledge. One inmate escaped, broke into a home, and killed the family. After attempts to make the facility more secure, the camp closed down in 2009.
These days, one of the cool things about roadtripping to Shingleton is to see a handful of the old ‘shingle shacks’ that are still standing: some abandoned, others are residences. Charming, rustic, secluded, historic…that describes Shingleton. Add this to your itinerary the next time you roadtrip thru the Upper Peninsula!
Check out the photos of Shingleton below!