The town of Pioneer never got to be a full-fledged town. It remained mostly a postal station, but it did have a general store, one-room schoolhouse, town hall, and a few homes...all of which are still there.

The old general store still sits vacant at the junction of Burkett and Moorsetown roads. The town hall is a tad east of the store, followed by the schoolhouse and the Pioneer Cemetery. Pioneer township survived some forest fires that thankfully did not burn down their few old buildings.

Pioneer became an entity in 1876 when a post office was established in the same building as the general store. The postmaster's name was William J. Morey - who came to the area in 1867 - so the area was also called “Moreys” for awhile. In 1910, Pioneer's population was 18 residents. F.S. Bardwell became postmaster in 1906 and took over the general store. In 1918, the store was owned by John Eubank.

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The area was not without its excitement. According to “The Early History of Missaukee County”, the county had a jail but never a prisoner. They also never had a saloon. But in the late summer of 1877 Calvin French became the jail's first inmate. Calvin was a little 90-pound guy, with a wife and step-daughter who were both bigger than he was. They all had an argument and Calvin came at the two women with an axe, threatening to kill them. The authorities were notified, Calvin was arrested, found guilty of assault and battery, and spent four months in jail.

Pioneer and Pioneer Township sit smack in Michigan's 'Christmas Tree Capitol' – Missaukee County. Looking at satellite maps, you can see all the pine trees that help provide our state with plenty of Christmas trees each year.

As with any of Michigan's great old ghost towns, you should take a roadtrip and get photos while you can. You never know when some hotshot will decide to tear down these historic buildings to make way for a dollar store.

The Ghost Town of Pioneer

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